Hillcrest estate from the Yarra Valley, only recently moved onto their 2012 vintage which, as with most of the Yarra Valley, was quite small. So small, in fact, that the vintage is already completely sold out - as are stocks of the earlier vintages we list. The next couple of vintages are also going to be in very tight supply due to vintage conditions in the valley, but we will advise availability both here and in our portfolio listing as soon as the new wines come on line. Meanwhile, if you don't have a copy of our Autumn list, feel free to contact any of our consultants, or drop us a line at head office. . .
We'll do a fuller report soon, but David Anderson dropped in this week and mentioned they'd completed their pick for the year, and some of it looks surprisingly good. Fans know that his super-premium "Duck Muck" Shiraz is only made in exceptional years when the grapes manage super ripeness while retaining good acidity. Well, it's not certain yet, but there could well be a Duck Muck this year! Fingers crossed. . .
As promised, here is the first harvest update. This one is from Sam Miranda in the King Valley (Victoria):
"We managed to finish all of our whites before that big rain event and they look fantastic, quite bright with great natural acidity.
"Reds are still looking good - they handled the rain but just need some time to regain the flavours and ripen a bit more. Our Pinot Grigio has finished ferment and we will leave on lees for a few months so should be ready to go by August or September.
"Also, we are bottling the 2010 Tempranillo next month, now that it has completed its maturation and oak treatment. We should be ready to release it not long after that."
- Sam Miranda Wines, King Valley
Already many of our wineries are picking the 2012 vintage. And it looks like a beauty! Some, Wild Duck Creek Estate included, already have quite a bit of wine in fermenters. It's a busy time of the year in Southern hemisphere wineries - in the space of just a few weeks the entire year's fruit has to be picked, crushed and de-stemmed, pumped into fermenters and plunged several times a day (and night!), then pressed and put away into barrels for maturation. And that makes it sound easy!
There's not just physical work, though there's plenty of that - the management of the must (acids, temperature, various yeasts, enzymes, preservatives and so on) requires enormous understanding of what you've got in the grape, what you're trying to do with it, and how you're going to get it there. There won't be much sleep by winemakers for a few weeks!
Over the coming weeks we will try to get a vintage report from as many of our wineries as possible, and publish it here. So check back every now and then. It should be instructive.
Bob the writer
When he's not writing our news, Bob works behind the scenes as the wearer of many hats. He's the marketing guy, the IT guy, one of our delivery drivers, a self-nominated taster and our best chef! Well, that's what he says anyway. . . .