Duncan Lloyd writes... Vintage 2021 started off well with slightly above average rainfall through the winter and spring of 2020. Once the growing season commenced, we had healthy vines. With mild conditions through spring we had a slightly early budburst and were looking on track for an early vintage.
The mild weather continued, allowing a long ripening period. Vintage kicked off in mid-February with shiraz and chenin blanc the first varieties to come off the vineyard. As the harvest season progressed we saw a slowing of ripening in some of our Mediterranean varieties allowing for a well-spaced vintage, with the last montepulciano picked in mid-April.
We had average yields across most white varieties with the resulting wines showing great clarity of aromatics. There is a beautiful acid-driven restraint in chenin and piquepoul this year, both with softly textured mid-palate. Fiano is lively and showing the full array of fruit and spice aromatics with some exciting barrels for our 2021 Rubato Fiano.
2021 will be sure to remembered as one of the greatest vintages for shiraz in McLaren Vale. Fantastic fruit condition and even ripening made life easy in the winery where we could watch each block express its identity. Again, there is bright fruit and juicy flavours across the board and great excitement for some of our single block wines, with ripe full tannin structures and impressive length of flavour.
The milder conditions throughout March have also shown to highlight the fragrance and fruit in our New Australian Collection varieties. Sangiovese, nero and negroamaro are all looking very strong with vibrant primary fruit and lifted aromatics.
Pictured above is the 2021 vintage team - Paul, Will, myself, Andy and Max. Paul is a real wine enthusiast, with a lot of technical experience and a talent for finding the blue swimmer crabs near his beachside home. Will joined us for vintage whilst restoring an old kombi for upcoming adventures. Max is our cellar hand, studying winemaking but also a highly regarded musician - his newest project will be premiered at this month’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Assistant winemaker Andy is an incisive taster, with impressive ice hockey skills in the meantime!