The summer has finally emerged from another very wet spring. This growing season we have moved straight from a wet, warm spring to a cold, unstable early summer and now to the typical January weather we expect. Quite a change to last summer which had staggeringly high rainfall.
December, our important period requiring stable, warm weather for flowering, saw high winds, rain and cold snaps. Consequently, the crop level is quite reduced and our expectation is for a very moderate yield. Quality is, of course, our primary focus and we are hopeful of making some intense wine at low yields. We are looking at yields around three to four tonnes per hectare this year whereas our aim would be to crop around five tonnes per hectare.
We have recently racked and returned to barrel the 2011 wines post malo lactic and they are looking quite promising. It was a difficult year viticulture wise however the harvest, fermentations and barrel maturations have progressed very well. The chardonnays are mineral and intense with excellent length and balance. The pinot noirs are perfumed, spicy, textured and harmonious and will cellar very well. The Pyrette shiraz is deliciously mineral, earthy, complex, creamy and balanced.
We begin bottling some of the 2011s in late February and the remainder will be bottled in July.