Ivan, Trainee Manager in our Lytham St Annes store, has been looking at recent vintages in Australia from 2012-2014. Find out what he discovered!
Over the past couple of years Australia has been showing good results in growing conditions and quality of produced wine. Both 2012 and 2013 have been highly recognised, and unanimous reports of fantastic quality followed the 2012 vintage. As for 2013, the vintage was ‘not an easy one’ in the words of the Winemakers Federation of Australia. Despite the heat, growing conditions were generally good for growing with enough water throughout summer and winter, which helped to grow highest yields since 2008.
2014 showed some challenges for winemakers with heat-waves followed by downpours. Growers who held their nerve though pulled in some excellent quality fruit, with fears of rot and split grapes proving unfounded in the Barossa.
Let’s have a closer look.
As season 2014 reds are not yet hitting the shelves, 2012–2013 vintages are more important for Shiraz lovers. Both of these vintages produced lovely yields and the excellence of wines have been admired by winemakers.
All of this excellence can be seen in some new wines we have recently launched in stores. Such as Basedows of Barossa, which appeared to be a customer hit starting from day 1. This deep cherry red, with a thick and juicy backbone of plum jam and cocoa characters, accented with hints of sweet spice and black pepper wine truly shows the quality of the vintage. Make sure you get one as well!
With whites, however, the story is different and you can already find 2014 vintage in our stores, such as Yalumba Y-series Viognier. Season 2014 brought some topsy-turvy weather to start with, and hot periods followed by statewide deluge brought things to standstill. Thereafter, ideal mild weather resulted in fragrant wines at modest alcohol levels. Yalumba Viognier shows this with a nose full of gorgeously perfumed floral scent and ripe stone fruit.
Season 2014 in Coonawarra will be described by most as one of the longest on record starting Mid February and finishing in the first week of May. The warm weather brought the ripening of many of the varieties on rapidly, but the cool nights and moderate days that the Coonawarra region is famous for soon rolled in around mid to late February, to preserve the acid and flavour of the whites. The reds, especially Cabernet have benefited significantly from the cool slow ripening period.
Overall, a perfect extended dry and mild ripening season for flavour, colour and tannin development which will deliver a classic Coonawarra vintage. Notably, season 2014 had a lot of similarities with season 2012, which has been described as “excellent” by all winemakers. To experience this yourself, we invite you to try Hamilton Block and Jim Barry Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon which are available in our stores.
For Margaret River the terms “warm, sunny, mild with ocean breeze” typify what is normal and this is what they have experienced throughout 2014 with most in the industry agreeing that it appeared to be a repeat of the excellent growing season leading up to the 2010 vintage.
Truly exceptional white fruit has been grown this year showing very intense varietal flavours. Chardonnay is displaying outstanding lines of natural acidity balanced with soft and fine phenolics with a flavour profile of citrus, nectarine, summer peach. One of the best examples we offer in stores is Vasse Felix Chardonnay. This toasty, nutty wine with peach and tropical fruits on the palate reveals past few years’ vintage excellence.
With the red vintage all varietals are showing vibrant fruit ripe intensity, great colour and balanced tannin profiles. Milder weather conditions in late April early May delayed final ripening and harvest was about a week later than average. The delayed harvest was perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon and has resulted in excellent wines of weight, concentration and texture. Fruit is pure and silky with a ripe red dark berry flavour profile and soft fine tannins.
You can check out our range of Australian wines here!