Cool spring with windy conditions led to a delay in bud-burst which was followed by record temperatures in late December. This was followed by a mild January/February and with our first shiraz harvested on February 25th we were tracking 10 days later than 2019. This trend followed throughout the season with the final fruit coming in on April 16th.
Our viticulture team were kept busy from early in the growing season monitoring fruit development in varying conditions and managing each block accordingly. We could see yields were looking below average in shiraz and cabernet but thankfully healthy crops on most other varieties.
Whites are all showing very fresh and pure aromatic qualities, with fresh natural acidity. 2020 Chenin Blanc is shaping up as a brilliant fresh release and the barrel fermented fiano showing great depth of flavour. Sangiovese was also a standout with great vine balance leading to even ripening and fantastic flavour development.
We experimented further with co-ferments in the winery, introducing both fiano and grenache blanc skins into several shiraz ferments to enhance the aromatic and structural properties of the final wines. We also engaged with the Australian Wine Research Institute on a ‘tannin’ project which has given us some fantastic data on the development of colour and phenolics on some of our premium shiraz blocks throughout the ripening period.
Led by our new Assistant Winemaker, Andy Zolotarev, we also trialled some extended maceration on sangiovese. A small parcel of some of our MAT 7 clone spent 7 weeks on skins; perhaps a special release to look out for!
We welcomed Andy at the beginning of vintage 2020 and were joined by Max McHenry, our resident cellar master/musician, returning lab master Paul Zarins and from Paris (via her family vineyard in the southern Rhone) we welcomed Manon Renoux.
As always vintage lunches were an important part of our daily routine, standouts included Mark Lloyd’s Kangaroo and Waygu Mousakka (with perhaps some help from his wife!), Paul's brisket rolls and Manon’s sweet treats.
Duncan Lloyd, Senior Winemaker