The crop has been harvested and picking finished on the 29th of March. The ferments are nearly complete as I write this and we begin pressing the Pinot Noir ferments tomorrow. The yield is below what we ideally aim for but not significantly. In the context of the myriad of trials experienced across the state during the 2009 growing season we are thrilled with the result. In 2009 the grapes developed their flavours and overall balance at lower sugar levels than in the past four years and the wines are showing a lot of intensity and drive. I believe they will be less textural as young wines than the pleasure laden 2008s but will develop very well over the medium term. It is very, very early days but it seems 2009 will yield wines of brightness and verve. The Chardonnays are displaying wonderful, vibrant, mouthwatering grapefruit and nectarine characters and the Pinots have racy red fruit and bright spice with fine, firm tannin drive (the skins were very thick and the berries small). It will be a great feeling when they are in barrel and resting over the winter.
Looking back over the summer the most immediate thought is that it was an extremely hot season due to the incredible maximum temperatures reached. However the vintage was actually twelve days later than 2008. And later than 2007 and 2006. We almost got back to picking in April! The cool December and January we mainly responsible and the even, mild weather in the second half of March saw a slow finish to the grape’s flavour development.