Vintage 2016 – view from the winepress.
“There is never a “normal season” when dealing with mother nature, but if there were, this was not it!
Cold winter, slow bud burst, spring droughts, warm summer nights and the odd rain event towards harvest left most perplexed. Oh yeah, there was also a hail storm to show solidarity with our Burgundian friends!
The most interesting growing season I have ever experienced … kinks and turns at every corner, and one that grew more grey hairs and wrinkles than one could hope for. In short, we threw away the harvest hand book and went more on feel than science. The right thing to do with the benefit of hindsight.
So, what of the wines, The dust is still settling and I tend to play my cards close but under duress I would say “ripe but with lower alcohols, elegance with a textural approachability”. Of course, they are still in their infancy and like most infants are prone to
Vintage 2016 – view from the tractor seat..
“We hit the ground running in September with an early bud burst in our young Mendoza up at Rosie’s Block. Everything else stayed in first gear as we experienced a cold, dry spring that had us scratching our heads and wondering when the heat would come. It was a period of holding our nerve and remaining confident that our dry farmed, organic vines would push through the tough conditions. And they did.
The heat and rain came just after Christmas and flipped the season on its head. Rapid vine growth and high disease pressure kept us on our toes all through January and February. There were plenty of sleepless nights and constant watching of the forecast charts to try and predict what the weather was doing. A tough job when there were seven different forecasts for one day. To continue the confusion, ripening was thrown totally on its head; the normally late season Riesling and Albarino came in mid-pack and Chardonnay hung out there to be some of the last fruit harvested.
However, the good guys won in the end. Constant attention from the vineyard team kept the canopy open and the fruit clean, and good strategic decisions were made. Our organically grown vines came through the testing season with flying colours.”