De Bortoli Vintage 2012
The 2012 growing season could be classified as cool and moist with cool nights through the important January and February Period. The cropping levels are low, perhaps down by 30%. Bunches are small and there was some reduction from both yield and early downy infections. Harvest started earlier than expected due to low crop levels but quality is good to great.
We started our Yarra Valley harvest with hand-picked Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Viggers Vineyard on the 16th of February. Chardonnay and Pinot look slightly riper this year but with the acidity looking excellent. Early indications suggest that Syrah is looking outstanding with early ferments showing classic ripeness and juiciness with white pepper and graphite characters.
Sarah Fagan has some cracking components of EZ bubbling away and it may be the year for aromatics whites.
The ass (Steve's word) may be falling out of the traditional Sauvignon Blanc market but a few of the Yarra style Sauvignon Blancs in barrel are looking very sexy.
We have a real focus this year on Cabernet Sauvignon and this will start next week.
Steve and the team are making an old world style version of the Aussie Shiraz Cabernet blend from Yarra Valle fruit so watch this space.