November brought some cool Spring weather to Margaret River initially, which has kept the Vineyard team especially busy this month.
In the Winery we continue to look after our excellent 2011 Red batches maturing in oak, racking and returning each batch out of French oak, to tank and back to oak, every three months.
Our 2011 Chardonnay Blends which came out of oak in late October are currently stabilising in tank, awaiting filtration in December and bottling early in the 2012. We are very pleased with the quality of our 2011 Chardonnay.
Over the last couple of weeks we have taken our 2010 Xanadu and Next of Kin Cabernet Sauvignon Blends out of oak in preparation for bottling in the New Year also. Our Cabernet Sauvignon Blends spend the last 3 of their 18 months in oak, in older barrels. This enables the newer oak influences to fully integrate with the wine prior to bottling. We have been blessed with excellent vintages in Margaret River over the last 5 years, the 2010 Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignons are set to continue this theme.
It has been a month of extremes as far as weather conditions are concerned in Margaret River. Thursday 17th was a miserable day, it rained non stop all day! Unusual for Margaret River and unfortunate for our guests the Harley-Davidson Owners Group who were starting their Rally at Xanadu. Fortunately the weather improved for the remainder of their time at Xanadu and in Margaret River. After such wet weather the following week was a stark contrast. Wednesday 23rd was hot and windy. By mid morning a couple of controlled burns in bush near the coast of Margaret River became out of control. The photo included in the Blog is taken on this day from Xanadu. It was a terrible sight to witness from the top of our tanks at the winery. On Thursday morning the 24th the fires looked to be more controlled early, though unfortunately conditions deteriorated quickly with incredibly strong northerly winds. The potential threat to Vineyards, Wineries and homes between the Margaret River Town site and the fires on the coast resulted in evacuations for many from these areas until Saturday 26th, Xanadu included. We and many others were fortunate not to be impacted by the fires, though unfortunately the coastal communities of Prevelly and Gnarabup suffered significant damage and destruction.
At this early stage of grape development in the vineyards the concerns over any smoke taint issues are minor.
While Margaret River was under such terrible pressure from the fires, The National Wine Show of Australia and the Margaret River Wine Show were announcing Trophy and Medal winners.
Xanadu has performed extremely well at both shows, with a couple of major awards at each show.
Cheers, Read More