Pre-season saw reasonable winter rains and a cooler start to the year, with phenology on long term averages. Particularly cool nights were experienced leading up to fruit set.
Set was even and crops in general light to medium, slightly better than 2012, but not by much, leading to shortages in Cabernet Sauvignon. One of the main drivers however was the lack of rainfall, with the growing season from November on being exceptionally dry and the viticulture challenge being to maintain good healthy canopies without causing vigour issues.
January and late February saw some brief hot spells, that brought vintage start forward to 17th February on Chardonnay, 3 weeks earlier than long term average. Fruit flavours in chardonnays are very good with good natural acid balances.
Vintage stretched out from February to May making this one of the longest vintages we have done. As usual we handpicked parcels for The Tally and used the Pellenc Selectiv Harvester on one block as a trial.
Wines are showing fantastic colours with medium body and flavours ranging from just ripe with some seaweed/ herbal elements to very ripe. Similar to 2012 tannin ripeness is slightly behind typical. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot are the standout varieties.
Overall quality I would say is very good, with long macerations going full term on skins and plenty of options for the Tally in oak.