Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Vintage 2013 #V13 - UPDATE 22/1/2013

Shiraz shriveling from sun/heat damage. While this looks serious, it will fall off before harvest and doesn't unduly affect wine quality.
In McLaren Vale vines are continuing colour change progressing through verasion (EL-35) quickly during the last 7 days.  


Harvest is approaching quickly. Full veraison has been seen in Chardonnay, with Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon between 50%-90% berry colour. 

Vines in the Adelaide Hills are just beginning to soften indicating they too are in the last phase of the year.


Reports in the media are for a 'sparkling vintage' as per the ADELAIDE NOW piece -"Vintage 2013 Shaping up to be a winner"

Jacob's Creek has started harvesting chardonnay grapes from Mildura and Riverland, with the company's Rowland Flat winery in the Barossa Valley starting the crush yesterday.

Jacob's Creek chief winemaker Bernard Hickin said: "So far, everything is indicating a high-quality vintage in 2013.

"While it's early days, and the real hard work is still ahead of us, I believe we'll see some great wines from this year across a number of varietals and regions. Like many Australians, our winemakers have been paying keen attention to this summer's high temperatures."

While we also admit it is far to early to make any sort of quality assessment it is important to note that the McLaren Vale vineyards are in good condition dispute two days in January with uncommonly high temperatures. Lets hope the predictions are right.

Above - Where is the crop? Shiraz vineyard with very low crop (and probable Nitrogen deficiency). Has this vineyard been run too hard in the pursuit of wine quality?
Below - A fuller bunch in a 'C-Grade' Shiraz vineyard. The crop load is much higher in this vineyard than above. Ripening will progress very differently.

Generalising about vineyards and wine quality is a process fraught with pitfalls. Crops vary, climates vary, grape growing practices vary. Look out for updates using the tag #v13 for timely vintage information.

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