2011 Vintage notes
2010 Vintage notes for the Pyrenees area
A slightly milder winter in 2009, with the best winter rainfall for a decade meant all the vineyards looked a picture of health coming into spring with good cover crops all round. Budburst began in the second half of September, and a warm, dry October saw the best canopies seen in recent years.
November arrived with a blast of unseasonal heat, however good rains cooled the vines, and allowed a bountiful flowering and set, particularly on the shiraz. December and January came and went with dry conditions allowing full potential flavour development.
Similar mild conditions allowed the reds, particularly the Bordeaux varieties, the luxury of slowly accumulating flavours, with all fruit picked in the region by the end of April. Shiraz and Merlot generally yielded good crops with vibrant and spicy characters, but most growers and winemakers in the region agree that the lower cropped 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon based wines will produce superb wines.
Good levels of soil moisture at this stage will provide an excellent springboard for the coming season.
2009 Vintage Report
Mild conditions from budburst through to fruit set saw the vineyards in excellent condition, although yields were forecast to be below the norm by 20 to 25%. Rain in mid December freshened up the vineyards and crucially replenished water reserves.
Like the much of Victoria, our vineyard endured a fortnight of extreme heat, with temperatures in excess of 39 degree Celsius, it was with great relief that the cool change came through.
Began picking the Pinot Noir the last few weeks of February with a break for roughly a week before we picked the remainder of the vineyard finishing up the second week of April. We were able to maintain mostly healthy canopies through good vine nutrition and soil moisture.
We were on the most part delighted with the colour intensity and tannin concentration, as well as the purity and power of varietal expression across all the 2009 red varieties.
It was a wild ride, being a winemaker in 2008 Vintage! The season had been kind to us up until New Years Eve and then we had a bout of extremely cold weather which stressed the vines somewhat. There was also no rain in this period until vintage. February came out with an extended hot spell which ripened the grapes up very quickly. Being so small we were able to get into it very quickly and managed to take nearly all the grapes in optimum condition.
The crops levels were not high, the vines still recovering from the drought, and we had a great team of pickers, so they all came off when we wanted them. We did not, in the end require all our fermenters but were full up in the winery for a month. Luckily, being at altitude in the Pyrenees the nights are still cooler and we did not have the sort of extreme heat they experienced in South Australia, with the consequent high sugar levels and shrivelling.
2008 Sally’s Paddock wines are excellent and some of the Cabernets are magnificent. We have several different Pinot Noir batches, some of them outstanding. Shiraz is also good, so all in all we are happy, if a little exhausted.