They say no two vintages are the same and that’s certainly true of the 2014 Pinot Noir vintage. The weather was most unusual and responsible for the extremely low yields of half a tonne to the acre, the likes of which we haven’t seen since 2002 and looking at our weather station data it’s easy to see why. Normally there’s a steady rise in temperature as Spring progresses but in 2013 the October average temperature was lower than September. This is most unusual and very confusing for grapevines. Looking around the vege garden, tomatoes and other fruits suffered the same fate. Normally at Christmas time we’re hoping into the first crop of tomatoes and snacking on tomato and basil bruschetta (a favourite simple pleasure) but this year we waited and waited for tomatoes.
The rest of the season was unusual too, with February being half a degree cooler than January (the long term average has it the other way around). March was cooler than average and April warmer. All this meant that when it came to picking grapes, sugar and flavour accumulation was slow and steady and we were able to pick beautifully ripe fruit at low sugar levels. Achieving low sugar with optimum ripeness is rare and prized and a memorable feature of the vintage. Last week the winemaking team had its first serious look at the 2014 wines from barrel. An exciting time of year when we refine our opinion of the vintage with proof in the glass. In the wake of 2012 and 2013, it’s hard to believe that the 2014 vintage could eclipse them both. In the winery we have many parcels (albeit small) of elegant, fragrant and deeply coloured Pinot Noir at less than 13 degrees of alcohol…fantastic!