The growing season for Vintage 2021 began with cooler temperatures and luckily no spring frost events. Warm and dry conditions at the beginning of November resulted in an early, fast and even flowering and no disease pressure. Summer was mild with some light rains and interspersed warmer days in January. This mild season resulted in a long slow ripening period, with some warm days around Easter to help move along tannin ripeness.
Balnaves chardonnay was picked late February/ early March at around 12.4 Baume, with a lovely balance of flavours that has carried through to create wines with bright lifted citrus and textural complexity.
Harvesting for the Balnaves Merlot began on 25 March and progressed through to finish picking Cabernet Sauvignon on 23 April 2021. The ferments showed great colour depth and flavour complexity very early on, and this has carried through into a very strong complement of 2021 wines. Though there were some big crops this season, where they were naturally lower or had been thinned the wine quality is excellent.
I am optimistic that the wines will be as outstanding as those of the 2001 and 2004 vintages, similar seasons in terms of weather and fruit set, and which continue to age beautifully today.
Balnaves of Coonawarra
22 June 2021