The growing season for Vintage 2022 began very cool before warming up in late November and through January for even flowering and berry development. Despite slightly lower yields, this later warmth meant that we started picking Chardonnay in early March, as usual in a moderate season. A cool and mild Autumn allowed for gradual and even tannin development, with a few early autumn showers keeping the vines in good condition.
We handpicked the Chardonnay in the first week of March at 12.0 baume. The Old chardonnay vines are showing some beautiful citrus, jasmine and white peach, while our Avery vineyard will add a lot of complexity to the final blend with more nougat and citronella characters.
We then started picking Merlot on the 28th March, followed by Shiraz and then picking our best Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards around 20th April. Cool weather allowed for long steady ferments and optimal tannin extraction. The Merlot from this year has dense varietal dark fruits, while our Shiraz has beautiful vibrancy heightened by 42% whole bunch in the ferment. This season the ferments didn’t need as much extended maceration as other years, with just over two weeks on skins for most Cabernet parcels.
Vintage 2022 has produced very elegant, focused wines with intense depth of flavour and tannin complexity, and we are very excited to see how they mature.
Balnaves of Coonawarra