In a vintage marked across Australia for its delays, we managed to find the eye-of-the-needle silver lining.
A particularly cold and wet winter carried on, and on, and on right into December. The lack of sunshine and lower temperatures saw bud-burst and flowering delayed by up to three weeks across Mt Benson, as well as Mundulla, not helped by above average rainfall. While many of our inland friends were proactively countering fungal and disease pressure in the vines, we in Mt Benson love our coastal breezes for a time such as this, when passing showers were indeed gently blown dry in good time.
A much-needed warm spell arrived at Christmas, continuing into January and some of February to finally get things moving.
With a shadow of anxiety hanging over certain scenarios, such as wet weather finally consuming our grapes, or just not enough sunshine to even achieve ripeness, picking finally commenced with our Mundulla Moscato coming off at the end of February. Tempranillo and Dolcetto for Rosé led the brigade into our new winery in early March, then a little wait until Sauvignon Blanc was ready for picking in mid-March, and the rest of the scheduled fruit steadily coming through the winery until our final Cabernet pick in mid-April. A particularly compressed vintage in our vineyard, being just short of four weeks from Sauvignon Blanc to Cabernet.
We are absolutely smitten with the quality across the entire range from V23. The slower ripening has seen some incredible detail and nuance in the flavours of our whites. Meanwhile our reds have retained wonderful natural acidity, whilst flexing the incredibly complex brighter tones of a cooler, slower ripening. Standouts for the year are Sauvignon Blanc with a bright aromatic punch and the Grüner Veltliner showing amazing intensity of hallmark characters.
In the first use of our new winery facility, the steady ripening ensured Anita had plenty of time to be in the vines and giving each wine the undivided attention they deserve through vinification. Some new toys entered the equation with our refurbished Foudre seeing its first use, and a new refrigeration unit to help us keep temperatures under control. This vintage saw a lot of learning in how the new winery would flow, but we have come through with some lovely wines that we are super proud of.
We look forward to sharing these with you over the coming year!