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View Full Version : Flavour and Colour at its Utmost



Mick Pacholli
13th July 2013, 03:11 PM
The end of summer has traditionally dictated the start of the red vintage for those in premium central South Australian wine regions, according to the folk that have been harvesting fruit in these parts for many decades. In fact it is more like the middle of February but the start of autumn does carry much more romantic appeal.A dry spring and summer with a few rather warm spells led us into the 2013 vintage, especially in the central regions. We kicked off vintage a week or so earlier than the long term average with the first premium fruit coming across the weighbridge on the 8th February.
http://www.tooraktimes.com.au/~/media/Wolf Blass/Images/From Our Winery Blog/Bilyara Harvesting.ashxThe Barossa Valley was first off the mark but was closely followed by McLaren Vale and Clare Valley fruit and, as happens every year, the very best low yielding Shiraz vineyards were the first to reach optimum flavour and tannin ripeness. We have been very much kept on our toes since then, frantically picking, crushing and fermenting fruit across all three regions with most vineyards ripening at seemingly the same time.In warmer, drier years such as these, premium red varieties will be lower cropping with small berries and fewer bunches per vine. The obvious upside is that the intensity of flavour and colour is at its utmost, with almost all reds we have crushed and fermented so far being at or above the quality level we would have planned for.*Over the past week following a cooler spell that slowed things down - enabling us to catch our breath whilst flavours develop even further - we have slowly moved onto the later ripening Cabernet from the central regions. At the same time the white varieties are getting ever closer to completion with Adelaide Hills Chardonnay now well underway indicating a nearing of the end.As we start on early ripening reds from the cooler regions of Eden Valley, the Adelaide Hills and Langhorne Creek we are seeing the elements of a high quality vintage. Although we started earlier than ideal, which created some logistical challenges, the vintage is definitely shaping up as being an even one, with good flavour ripeness, as we move from the central wine regions all the way across the state finishing with Coonawarra Cabernet in three to four weeks time.

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