11 Mar 2013

Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc were all harvested before the remarkable heat wave now engulfing Victoria. This unprecedented weather pattern should end this week and we hope that the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc will start to ripen again. During this hot spell, they have just closed down to conserve energy and the sugar levels have barely moved.
Merlot was harvested on Saturday--the fruit looked great and more importantly, the flavours were fresh and bright with the natural balance of acidity and sugar that I look for in our vineyard.
In the winery, the Pinot is now in barrel. It looks strong and forceful, clearly a product of the warm, dry season. To make sure it didn't go too far down that path, we included about 15% of whole bunches for the first time. The result is pleasing--it's pulled back the flamboyance and added a brightness.
The Chardonnay is still fermenting. As I mentioned before, it's looking like the 2010 at this stage. It will be tight and somewhat inhibited when we bottle it next year but will unfurl with a couple of years ageing.
The Sauvignon Blanc (destined for the Fume Blanc) is also still fermenting--the natural yeasts take their time--but has a good line and clean flavour.

The Merlot is already showing a chocolatey varietal note along with good colour.
In the last post, I suggested that harvest could be finished soon but I have had to revise that opinion due to the weather. The Cabernets will need another two weeks of "normal" weather but should be in by Easter.
Which reminds me--on Easter Saturday, we are having another gourmet sausage sizzle. Put it in your diary.