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2021 vintage report

Okay, we're calling it…. It’s good. Damn good! And we are all pretty excited about vintage 2021.

Okay, we’re calling it…. It’s good. Damn good! Word around the Valley is that it could be the best in decades and we totally agree.

It all started with a cool, wet start to the growing season which set the vintage up nicely. Over late Spring and Summer, conditions dried out giving us full control in the vineyards.

Summer was mild and dry, with rainfall below long-term averages across the board, reducing the risk of disease. We supplemented with water as required, using soil probes in our own vineyard at 258 Angaston Rd. Nights were consistently cool which allowed the fruit to develop some nice balancing acidity.

All regions have come into the winery now and right across South Australia, the colour is phenomenal. The perfect growing conditions meant the vines were in good health for fruit-set and ripening. There is beautiful natural acidity and vibrant fruit flavours in the grapes across all varietals. In some regions, the volumes are down slightly but this has meant vibrant, rich flavours in the wines!

McLaren Vale

On par on expected tonnes. Amazing colour so far across all vineyards. Our organic Shiraz came in looking fantastic. The Cabernet crops were slightly down but nicely balanced with more fruit and concentration in flavours which bodes well for Esulé! The Cabernet Sauvignon comes from one end of McLaren Vale, Wickhams Hill, almost adjacent the Adelaide Hills and the Cabernet Franc comes from Sellicks Hill, near the beach – Opposite ends of the region blended to perfection.

Barossa

Almost back to normal, with crops more inline with a typical vintage, quality is still right up there! The fruit from Matt and Deb Poole’s vineyard was outstanding which is exciting as while we started only taking a few rows, this year we took in the whole vineyard! Think Whip-Hand and Fenrir. Great natural acidity in both the whites and the reds across the Barossa. We also picked our first crop of Touriga from our home vineyard at 258 Angaston Rd and it looks great. 

Adelaide Hills

A cool vintage with a mild Indian summer and rainfall below average creating great natural acidity in the grapes. All varieties are fresh and bright with lots of fruit flavours. The Chardonnay and Sauv Blanc ferments look awesome. We fermented a portion of Sauvignon Blanc in the new concrete egg fermenter and it is offering some beautiful minerality which will be really valuable for blending.

The Sagrantino and Nebbiolo for R’Dotto Royale are slightly lighter styles this year which will work well with the richer fruit out of One Tree Hill. Unfortunately, while the quality of Barbera was great, crops were too low to make a stand-alone wine this year.

Langhorne Creek

Heat waves and frosts usually cause so many issues in the Langhorne Creek region, but not this season. The Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon look amazing.  Great for Coco Rôtie 2021 and even better for Red Sedan!

Coonawarra

Perfect season – warmer than usual. Fruit ripened happily and has great natural acidity – the fruit had high malic acid which is a sign the fruit is in good health. The Cabernet from Jack Burston’s vineyard has great colour and plenty of capsicum and mint characters on the nose.

The Chardonnay was perfectly balanced. Wish we had more! It went through ferment and is now resting, some in French oak, some new, some seasoned and a portion in stainless tanks offering perfect blending opportunities.

One Tree Hill

The Spanish and Italian varietals were some of the earliest to come in as they had ideal ripening conditions with vines in great health. Tempranillo destined for Vin’Atus, Montepulciano and Sangiovese for R’Dotto Royale and Durif for Night of the Living Red were all slightly down on volumes but have excellent fruit concentration. The wines, post-ferment have amazing colours and fruit flavours.

We also got our hands on an exciting block of Cabernet Sauvignon, which will might just find its way into Red Sedan!

So Alex, what are the stand outs?

“You know what, everything is smart! Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc look amazing and we are taking more Cabernet Sauvignon from Jack Burston’s vineyard in Coonawarra which we are excited about. Our first crop of Touriga from our home block looks great and I’m excited to see how Red Sedan will be with some excellent quality fruit going into this blend”

Varieties coming in this year….

The Reds: Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cab Franc, Tempranillo, Graciano, Grenache, Sagrantino, Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Durif, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Mataro, Touriga,

The Whites: Riesling, Chardonnay, Semillon, Viognier, Fiano, Sauvignon Blanc