After a relatively warm winter, budburst was about two weeks earlier than usual. This combined with a hot dry summer lead to one of the earliest starts to vintage. Picking commenced on the 11th of January with Chardonnay from Gillards Road. Another first was picking Shiraz on the 23rd of January before we had started picking our first Semillon of the year on the 24th. What turned out to be a very short condensed vintage finished on the 16th of February with our Touriga Nacional.
Semillon – The hot short ripening period lead to the Semillons being picked slightly riper than normal to allow enough time for the full development of flavours. With these slightly elevated alcohols, wines should be superb drinking in their youth but potentially will have a slightly shorter cellaring life.
Verdelho – All systems normal for the stalwart variety. Maybe slightly riper than an average year will see a little more colour and fuller tropical flavours.
Chardonnay – This has been one of the better Chardonnay years we have seen in a little while. This year we saw not only good sugar ripeness but also great natural acidity. Wines have great flavour intensity and line of fruit/acid.
Shiraz – An absolute belter of a Shiraz year, great harvest with fantastic colours, flavour and tannin profiles. Really excited by some of the reds we have seen from 2018.
In short, 2018 was hot, dry, short and condensed. Wines are well above average with the reds looking particularly strong.