Now the dust has settled on another vintage, we can start to reflect on what was another amazing harvest here in Margaret River.
The 2013 vintage followed a very similar path to 2012 as being one of the warmest vintages in Margaret Rivers short history. Warm to hot conditions during the day with warmer than average nights were the status-quo for the region since early January, with the weather only really cooling down as we moved into March. This meant a very large gap between the harvest of whites and reds. When I last wrote, we had picked all our white grapes in a matter of two short weeks. Intense stuff. But we had time to rest, as we ended up waiting another 28 days to begin picking any reds from the property. That’s certainly a record as far as anyone around here can remember...
But it was worth the wait. The weather warmed up for us again over the Easter break with a warm sunny stretch weather to follow. It really put the finishing touches on the grapes to make another great vintage – particularly for our Estate and Stevens Road vineyards, located further south in Margaret River. As the grapes began to ripen those classic blackcurrant-cassis characters started appearing in the Cabernet’s – just what we had been waiting for. With the cooler conditions over March, it seemed that for the most part, tannin and sugar ripeness was in harmony with flavour development and maturity, so 2013 should exhibit wonderful natural balance and have great aging potential.
We have just started to blend and stabilize our Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blends as I type. These wonderfully aromatic varieties are outstanding again this year. The Sauvignon Blanc batches are exhibiting with fresh zesty citrus, passion-pip, floral blossom balanced with a herbal/lemongrass purity from the Semillon. Topped off by crisp, moreish and refreshing acidity and you have yourself a damn fine drink.
The Chardonnay’s continue to develop in barrel with each lees stir. They also have a outstanding core of natural acidity with full rich flavours and beautiful aromatics of white flesh stonefruits, grapefruits with a lovely floral lift. They should be formidable in a few months time when the oak and fruit meshes and melds into unison.
We are also racking the 2013 reds into oak following both primary and malo-lactic fermentation. We have all but one red to press off. This will stay on skins for roughly eight weeks – in the hope to get more supple, velvety, malleable tannins. Soon it will be time to begin blend the 2012 reds. A mouthwatering prospect.
All in all… Vintage 2013 was a great success. Another notch in the belt for the region whose golden run now stretches 7 years. Clear some space in your cellar, the Cabernet Sauvignon’s from Margaret River will be one to collect…
Brendan CarrRead More