There is a lot of doom and gloom being written and talked about regarding the 2011 Vintage from McLaren Vale. There are comments about disease effecting the vines and thus the grapes and how this effects the resultant wine. The fact about the Vale having some disease cannot be disputed – there are many vineyards with their leaves already falling. Combined with the cooler year some grapes are not as ripe as winemakers would like. If we listened to all of this then we would be lulled into thinking that the whole vintage for all wineries has been a disaster. This could not be further from the truth as there is so many wineries out there that the fruit looks fantastic.
I helped pick Shiraz from the Marius Vineyard about a month ago and the vines had some Downy Mildew but most of the bunches of that marvelous fruit were unaffected. I know that I will be purchasing a considerable amount of this wine when it is released. See my short video about this day of picking at Marius Wines.
Over the last few weeks I have spent many hours visiting wineries that have been just so happy with the grapes and the flavors of the ferments. I will mention 3 specifically:-
- Fox Creek Wines – I saw a number of Shiraz batches fermenting with dark colours and fantastic aromas.
- Petagna Wines – Paul got through vintage without spaying his vines at all. Paul has been making wine with grapes from these vines and he has indicated to me that this looks like his best fruit yet. Sounds to me like another purchase in a few years.
- Samuel’s Gorge – Justin looks at his ferments with more than the usual vigor. “These ferments are some of the best I have seen in my 15 years in the Vale” What more can I say?
Do not get me wrong there will be many grape growers and wineries not happy with the quality and quantity of fruit and my heart goes out for then, but please do not judge all wines from the 2011 Vintage as being from diseased vineyards and they will be poor wines.
I look forward to see what McLaren Vale can serve up from the 2011 Vintage.