The 2018 season will be remembered for the dry drought conditions that developed up to Christmas, drought relieving rain in the second part of the season and one of the warmest and earliest seasons on record.
The vines got off to a good start with only two frost events that caused no damage and calm growing conditions without the fierce equinoctial winds that often affect vine growth. With good canopies and ideal flowering conditions good fruit set was achieved with balanced cropping levels enabling even ripeness to develop. There were larger than normal bunches which was desirable as bunch numbers per vines were lower and the combination set up the vines to produce an average sized harvest.
With warm weather in November/December the vines flowered a week earlier than normal and then with well above average heat from January to March the period for flowering to harvest shorted from our normal 115 days to 105.
Rainfall events and cooler temperatures in February and March gave us strong canopies and helped to slow down ripeness which allowed depth of flavour and complexity to develop.The rain periods did induce some disease pressure but with the grapes ripening early we were able to pick while they remained in good condition. The yield of Sauvignon blanc, Pinot noir and Pinot gris was at long term averages while that of Riesling and Chardonnay was below.
We are very happy with the wine in the cellar – quality is very good across the board with Pinot noir the star in our minds. These show a mixture of dark berry and red fruits supported on a frame of fine ripe tannins. These wines have lovely balance and elegance and so are very approachable at this early stage of their life. We can’t wait to watch the Pinot noir batches develop over the winter months.
The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc sits nicely between the tropical 2016 and the herbaceous 2017 vintages, a wonderful blend. The Riesling shows classic lime characters. The Chardonnay and Pinot gris are both full and rich.
The Griffin & the Rose
The Estate Club
The Great Riddler
Honouring our past Managing Director, Richard Riddiford who passed away in 2016, we have crafted a beautiful chardonnay from two of our best 2016 barrels in his honour.
This wine is very limited in quantity and will only be available to our Palliser friends and Cellar Door from July. Please email us if you would like to pre-order.