Well, vintage 2016 is all but wrapped up here in Margaret River. Our last pick of Cabernet Sauvignon came precisely 73 days after our first pick of Chardonnay. Having an early and a late ripening variety all in the one region makes for a very protracted vintage around these parts. . . But, judging by the quality of the ferments we have seen in these last two and a bit months, the long vintage has all been well worth it.
The Sauvignon Blanc Semillon’s have just been blended and look bright, fresh and packed full of flavour. The Chardonnays have finished their natural ferment and the quality looks exceptional with each batch displaying awesome natural acidity and great balance. And while these Chardonnays are in barrel awaiting their next round of battonage we are slowly pressing the red ferments off their skins after their pump over / plunging. All the 2016 reds have exceptional colour with fantastic ripe tannin structure and fruit profiles in each batch. . . with the Cabernet’s once again being the standout variety.
So over all the quality of Vintage 2016 should be regarded as another excellent year for Margaret River. We were extremely fortunate to escape the major brunt of some severe weather events that unfortunately struck regions further south and inland during the ripening season. Therefore, overall the vineyard team had a less challenging year in comparison to 2015 in regards to bird and disease pressure throughout. Now, with the fruit all off, they are keeping busy wintering the nets and harvest equipment whilst giving the vineyard some well-earned post-harvest nutrition, before their own well-earned break to catch some Autumn salmon. But for us here in the winery, now the hard work really begins. We will do our best to capture and retain the best of what the vineyard has delivered us and deliver it to you all in a bottle soon!
Brendan Carr, Winemaker