Sunday, April 18, 2010

South Australian 2010 Vintage

Rain and cool weather have favoured the 2010 vintage in South Australia – in contrast to the heat and fire of last year. We've seen slower, steady ripening. It's been a much more controlled and regular vintage - a bit like 2005.

Louise Rose, head winemaker at Yalumba in the Barossa Valley said quantity was down but not excessively so, and the quality of the wines looked 'extremely strong across the board' in all regions. 'Standouts include Eden Valley Riesling and Barossa Shiraz. We had the best rains in the Barossa for five years, filling up the soils and setting up the vines for the coming season.'

Winemakers are reporting excellent quality in all varietals. 'All the crops appear balanced and the red varieties are hugely exciting,' according to Chester Osborn at d'Arenberg, in McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills. 'The skins are very thick and dark with a good level of tannin. Early picked Shiraz is peppery with elegance and lots of length. Cabernet shows outstanding varietal character and tannin and, despite low crop levels, Grenache is strong with loose clusters producing dark, concentrated wines with nearly all berries being shrivel free.' Chester said.

There was good acid development in grapes – and in a lot of fruit achieved ripeness without high sugar. Some rain during the vintage didn't hurt as the soil soaked up water like a sponge, but didn’t really get into the fruit. Further detailed assessment of the 2010 vintage will be provided as our tastings continue around South Australia’s premium wine regions.