After the challenges of cooler weather and significant bird pressure in 2019,
Lower than Average Yields
Yields were down due to a number of factors. Colder than average Spring conditions in 2018, when the fruit load was determined for the 2020 vintage, resulted in a lower bunch-set, and in Spring 2019, a number ofweather events impacted flowering and fruit-set. Our white varieties, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, were significantly affected resulting in exceptionally low bunch weights.
The dry growing season also contributed to lighter than average bunch weights across most varieties.
Although yields were low, harvest did produce exceptional fruit, with intense concentration. Our finished wine production totals will be lower than usual, but 2020 will be a special vintage to look out for.
After a significantly wet winter with rainfall 30% above average, regular periods of high temperaturesthroughout the spring months accelerated grape development leading into perfect early summer growing conditions.
Over December and January, warmer than average conditions, coupled with no rainfall events, created ideal ripening conditions with no disease pressure.
Harvest of Chardonnay began at the beginning of February, our earliest start on record, brought on by lower yields and warm, dry weather which ripened the fruit more rapidly than usual.
Sustained heat in January and February also meant a quick harvest of our Sauvignon Blanc, with all white varieties completed by 20 February.
Very rarely does the white harvest finish this early.
The season’s regular dry, sunny days provided a natural impediment to disease, and native Marri trees blossomed extensively, keeping bird pressure off the vines.
A weak, cold front, in late February/early March, brought approximately 35mm of rain. Daytime temperatures cooled and development of the Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon slowed. Fruit remained longer on the vine which allowed for significant softening and ripening of tannins and improved flavour development.
With the end of the Marri blossom, nets were required on every block of red fruit to keep the birds at bay.
Our Shiraz was harvested on 14 March. Separate harvests of our spur pruned Cabernet Sauvignon on 19 March, and our cane pruned Cabernet Sauvignon on 28 March, completed the 2020 Vintage.
It has been a superb Chardonnay vintage, with wonderful complexity, balance, concentration of flavours and clean, pristine fruit. With accelerated ripening, there is incredible retention of natural acidity, texture and loads of energy.
Sauvignon Blanc is showing excellent early floral characters, fruit purity, freshness and excellent varietal expression.
Good depth of flavour, a bright fruit spectrum and lovely tannins with medium weight is evident in the Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon is showing excellent potential, with loads of colour, concentration, dark fruit vibrance and fine soft tannins.
Across the board quality is outstanding.