2017 Vintage Report


May 2017

The RED vintage is now done and dusted for 2017. Mother Nature has been running about 4 to 6 weeks behind the Barossa’s recent average, and quality has been extremely good. Above average yields, too, which is always a bonus in a good vintage.

The preceding winter was long, cold and wet, and led into one of the wettest Septembers on record. The up-side of this was that spring frost was kept at bay, and there was plenty of water in the soil profile to kick off the growing season with healthy growth, albeit slow, as we moved through a cool spring and early summer. No weather concerns during flowering, and good fruit-set, both contributed to the resulting strong yields at harvest.

Temperatures at veraison, and throughout January and February, were mostly around average, with only a couple of bursts of hotter weather. Two well-timed rains in late January and early February refreshed the vines and slowed the onset of ripening, with the remainder of the vintage period staying mostly dry.

All in all, 2017 was a strong vintage for Barossa reds. The wines are balanced, bright and aromatic, with a rich intensity of dark berry fruit, and elegant, structured palates.

We were treated to an Indian summer from March through to late April, which allowed for consistent ripening, optimum colour development, and good natural acidity. Cooler nights from late March onwards stretched later ripening varieties out into early May.

We’re very happy with the quality of our Barossa Valley Shiraz, which was all sourced from the R6 and Shed blocks at Steve Kurtz’s vineyard in Light Pass. The wines are balanced, bright and aromatic, with a rich intensity of dark berry fruit, and elegant, structured palates. The R6 is a little denser and darker, the Shed block has a little more finesse and fragrance. We’re looking forward to what we expect will be a very harmonious blend.

It was a great year for Mataro, which we sourced mostly from Tony Kurtz’s 3-Row block at Light Pass, with a little from Peter Sonntag’s vineyard at Stonewell. Bright, complex, and full of spice, with a lovely balanced line and length.

We expect the 2017 reds to be released from mid to late 2018.

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by Caroline Dunn

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