The nature of the 2016 to 2017 vintage is reminiscent of the 2009 growing season, because the amount of accumulated warmth up until early new year was remarkably similar.
In our opinion 2009 vintage was one of the greatest white vintages of Margaret River, and the reds were stunning with vibrant levels of fruit perfume and generous tannins. An elegant vintage, characterised by wines of verve, texture and personality.
Back to 2016-2017: January temperatures were similar to historical data for the area, in contrast, February and March were a fraction cooler. April marked the beginning of our “endless” Indian Summer, with around 90% less rain for than the long-term average. Those who risked all by waiting for the Indian Summer, were rewarded with tannin ripeness and the retention of the most beautiful fruit perfumes at relatively low sugar levels. The vibrant purple reds are now maturing in French oak, along with many Chardonnays, while some of the aromatic SBS styles are about to be bottled. We believe that 2017 will become known for fragrance and softness.
The 2017 vintage also highlighted the importance of best practice vineyard management, focusing on the basics of open and well solarised canopies, with balanced crop loads, so that the fruit could ripen at a reasonable pace. As we approach the pruning season, it is time to focus on getting the architecture of the canopy correct, and setting the foundations for the 2018 vintage.