March 2013 Archives

Vintage 2013

Vintage 2013. One word. Dream!

sean_vintage2013.jpgThe number one key to vintage being such a cruise this year was Sean C. Warlters (sic). It has been fantastic to work with such an easy-going, talented, supportive and fun person ... who loves to share Champagne on a regular basis with yours truly. I could not ask for a better partner in life. Thank you sweetheart.

But enough of that :)

In terms of fruit quality, I would rate this year's right up there, probably similar in feel to 2009.

All varieties showed good flavour at lower baumes resulting in most batches being picked earlier than normal. We had a fantastic team of pickers, who were happy to pick in small batches, giving us the luxury of picking each parcel at its optimal ripeness.

It is one of my great joys to see fruit arrive at the crusher in a pristine state and at perfect ripeness. It means winemaking can go back to basics - minimal sulfur, no yeast, tweak of acid - then gentle pigeage and pumpovers during the fermentation. It is really the vineyard that has done all the work and I am just guiding what has already been made in the vineyard.

As normal, the Malbec enjoyed the longest hang-time from veraison to harvest. I think that tells in the wine. There is more intensity, elegance, balance and perfume. Again, 'Zoe' was my favourite tank.

Sean's favourite was the Old Shiraz, or 'Lee'. He loved the darker brambly fruits and gravelly tannins. Now pressed, it looks exciting. Deep black purple, brooding. Like all the other batches, it is sitting in oak waiting for malo bugs to convert some of the harder malic acid into lactic acid.

Thanks go to Mum for looking after Sean and I during vintage and helping to organise everyone and still lend a hand with crushing and the press-outs, Uncle Ray who came over pronto whenever he was needed, my hard-working Tetka Beka and her family, our talented family craftsman and general Mr-Fix-It, Milenko and my 2 long-suffering brothers, Mike and Pete, who although lead hectic lives with young children and long hours as doctors, always manage to find time to come and help their sister as much as they can.

Jivili 2013!

PS I have already had some inquiries about the Aldersyde birthday party. Yes of course it's on! This year the first Sunday in July falls on 7 July, so that's when it's on. More information will be posted closer to the date, but as always, there will be a bonfire at dusk and plenty of tractor rides and other ye-olde-days activities.