Australians wines : an amazing vintage 2019
In the vineyard
04 March 2020
In our vineyards, 2019 will certainly be one of the reference vintages in terms of Quality and quantity. In terms of Vinification, September budburst benefited from favourable conditions, with no frost and good underground water reserves replenished by 200mm of rain between May and August.
A dry spring in Australia
Spring came, bringing severe drought (a paltry 50mm between September and November). The vines blossomed under good conditions as of November 13th on the Chardonnays and the Sangiovese, in moderate temperatures (around 20°C every day). It was only at the end of blossoming on the later-flowering plots that more serious rain finally fell (40mm between December 13th and 14th). This allowed good multiplication of cells in the grape, a crucial prerequisite of reasonably-sized grapes.
The fruit ripened and the beginning of the australians harvest
The fruit ripened between the end of January and mid-February under relatively – and unusually – cool conditions: it was warm, but apart from January 25th when temperatures of 47°C were registered, the thermometer did not rise above 33°C. Thus, our vines which are used to high temperatures suffered only marginally at this stage, and ripening was fairly short, a sign of great homogeneity of grapes as the harvest begins.
Harvesting came relatively late: we started with the Chardonnays on March 4th and ended with the Grenaches on April 16th, around ten days later than in a normal year. Here again, the grape was picked in ideal temperatures, meaning they could be brought in at normal temperatures (20 to 25°C).
An amazing 2019 vintage for the australians wines
As in all the great years, this vintage will deliver quantity and quality: a combination of the quality of the harvest and 2019’s exceptional weather conditions allowed us to bring the grape to maturity before over-maturity with a concentration/aromatic freshness combination rarely seen before. The 2019 australians wines will be amazing for sure.
For the whites, the Landsborough Chardonnay again produced fullness, tension, richness and minerality. For the reds, the Syrahs will certainly be some of the best ever produced on Shay’s Flat and Landsborough with plots delivering good returns (30-35 hl/ha), soft tannins, remarkable purity of fruit and natural concentration which meant that we extracted less than usual. As for Heathcote, similar conditions produced similar results on Lady’s Lane which will also stand out for the purity of the fruit obtained and more especially the soft tannins that characterise the very best Heathcote vintages!