“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”


DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)


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07 April 2011

2011: 2ND BEST WORST WETTEST VINTAGE

STOP PRESS:  
Mollydooker Wines FaceBook 15 April 2011 posted two images on their wall: one a vineyard which had been harvested, across the road from their block, which means nothing, and another of their own block, with the following caption: "Both of these photos were taken yesterday:one is our vineyard and the picked vineyard is over the road. We are watering to keep the sugar levels down and the canopy flourishing so that the Mollydooker grapes can continue to bask in the beautiful Indian summer sun. The vines are maturing and sending ripe tannin signals to the grapes, which gain extra flavour and richness every day. Exciting news - we have already got argh- cut me off...should read- Exciting news - we have already got two blocks at VELVET GLOVE level!"

Well, they sure look velvety. A close look at this image shows grey, velvety, botrytis-and-mould-riddled berries. So what is Mollydooker doing? They're watering? The vines are sending ripe tannin signals to the grapes? Which gain extra flavour and richness every day? If the silly buggers up the River had only called Sparky Marquis for advice there would now be hundreds of thousands of tonnes of grapes making the Velvet Glove grading, no? Not to mention the Barossa, Clare, the Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale, no? Watering? Those leaves are falling off, for Bacchus' sake!

So is it, or isn't it Aussie's best year ever? Select your preferred degree of propagandist bullshit!
 
by PHILIP WHITE - a version of this was published on INDAILY, and the shorter version published here previously has been deleted


This is a bad time to be a wine writer.

There’s far too much competition.

At the climax of a vintage as horrid as 2011 there’s a parallel peak of nonsense spoken by those who know their wines will not be as good as usual.

The astute observer will have already recognized the formation of little twists of spin which look promising to those who somehow utter them. By the time the wine is clarified and packaged, these seminal stutterings will have bloomed into gushing back label texts and blurbs that can be cut and pasted by idiots for centuries.

My opinion of vintage 2011 is largely formed. The vintage is well over half way through. I have toured vineyards and tasted grapes, ferments and wine in enough places to get a fair idea of what happens when you have the wettest vintage in thirty-seven years.

EDEN VALLEY RIESLING KING, COLIN FORBES, WHO HAD BEEN CONTRACTED TO MAKE THE DRY-GROWN BUSH VINE KARRA YERTA RIESLING FOR MARIE LINKE LINKE, RIGHT, WON'T BE PICKING A GRAPE SINCE THE CROP WAS BUTCHERED BY BOTRYTIS AND OTHER MOULDS photo MILTON WORDLEY
 

There are those, of course, who are disarming in their honesty. The tiny-scale Barossa Ranges Riesling aces, Bob McLean (McLean’s Farm) and Marie Linke (Karra Yerta) have stated quite simply that their heavily-Botrytised Riesling is not worth picking. But while their write-offs are symptomatic of the year, their frankness is not indicative, unfortunately, of the general industry spin.

EVEN THE FASTIDIOUSLY HAND-TENDED ORGANIC NEVER-IRRIGATED RIESLING BUSH VINES AT McLEAN'S FARM ARE SUFFICIENTLY DAMAGED BY BOTRYTIS AND OTHER MOULDS TO PROHIBIT PICKING

The summer of 2010-11 was, in fact, the second wettest on record for Australia.

"Nationally we averaged 354.7mm, 70 per cent above normal and second only behind the infamous summer of 1973-74 when 419.8mm was recorded," said Tom Saunders, meteorologist at The Weather Channel.

“Victoria’s had its wettest summer on record,” he continued. “Western Australia recorded its second wettest summer. South Australia recorded its third wettest summer. New South Wales recorded its fifth wettest summer. Queensland recorded its sixth wettest summer. Northern Territory recorded its eighth wettest summer, and Tasmania recorded its seventeenth wettest summer.

THE RAIN AND FLOODS CAME VERY EARLY IN THE VINE CYCLE, AND PERSISTED UNTIL A GREAT VINTAGE WAS UTTERLY IMPOSSIBLE ... THIS IS A NORTHERN VICTORIAN VINEYARD

"And after a decade of drought, The Murray Darling Basin also recorded its third wettest summer," he concluded.

Just as a perfect vintage, ideally dry, slow and cool, deserves recognition in the odd chance that it may occasionally occur, so do record numbers like these. These are not matters of opinion.

Neither are the simple facts evident to anybody who knows vines well enough to jump over the odd fence and identify Downy Mildew, Powdery Mildew, and Botryitis cinerea. Botrytis not only rots the skins of grapes, but it also attacks the stems of the bunches. When you stand in highly regarded vineyards and watch the vibrations of the mechanical harvesters shaking bunches onto the ground before they even reach those vines, you know something’s wrong. When you watch bins of mouldy slurry, rather than your actual grapes, arrive at winery hoppers, you know this is not what the wineries would like their drinkers to see.

BOTRYTIS CINEREA ON SHIRAZ BERRIES photos by JAMES HOOK, CONSULTING VINE SCIENTIST AND PROPRIETOR OF LAZY BALLERINA WINES, McLAREN VALE.

The need to recognize and identify mere opinions intensifies once frightened winemakers wheel out their most trustworthy employees to tell us that everything’s much better than it is. Such phenomena are not determined by the size of the business, other than in the sense that little guys can bullshit more convincingly than big guys because they’re little.

Troy Elliker, viticulturer for the big McLaren Vale vineyard management company, The Terraces, may feel a little sheepish about calling it too early when on February 19th he said “We've had a very good season and it looks like we are going to have a good year … There will be some really good quality fruit, hence quality wines, coming out of McLaren Vale for the 2011 vintage ... It's a bit later this season because of the weather conditions ... This summer we had cool nights and warm days, which was great for growing grapes down here."

Baron of Barossa, Louisa Rose (below), chief winemaker at Yalumba, warned against calling it early. This Barossa winery takes vast tonnages of fruit from the Riverland, and lesser amounts from the more premium vignobles in the ranges and interstate. At 31,600 tonnes, it is ninth on the list of the biggest Australian wineries measured by winegrape intake.

I could feel poor Louisa squirming when she told The Advertiser "The wines that are going to be made for the 2011 vintage are going to made from very good grapes and those wines are going to be very good drinks."

See the back label forming?

“Ideally cool conditions produced beautiful fruit of good natural acidity and elegance,” a good spindrifter could write, more or less along the lines of what winescribe Max Allen wrote in The Australian. You could easily stretch this to insinuate that 2011 was the closest Australia gets to the general vintage conditions of, say, Bordeaux, strangely reflecting what Clare Riesling hero Jeffrey Grosset told the same paper, about a fortnight after I’d facetiously suggested it on DRINKSTER.

Not to suggest the astute Ms Rose would extend her spin so far. She had already stated "Too many people assume that the whole vintage has been ruined and that's not the case … It's far too early to make bold claims as to what the vintage is really going to look like. Making big claims about the success or failure of a vintage while grapes were still being picked was a foolish exercise … While there had been some sad individual cases of growers with disappointing harvests, that did not tell the story of the whole vintage.”

From a winemaking family famous as champions of positivism at all costs, Neil McGuigan (below) of Australian Vintage (157,000 tonnes) told the influential industry business e-mail newsletter, The Key Report:

“Vintage has been very challenging across Australia with the Hunter and WA both having excellent vintages. The irrigated districts were ‘under the pump’ but those vineyards that were managed correctly and had a bit of luck were able to harvest most of their fruit. Some rejections did occur, and some varieties were adversely affected by Downy Mildew. Barossa looks good but the SE of South Australia has been adversely affected by the weather as well.”

So you have a choice in the Barossa. Either you believe that it “looks good”, or you give ear to the champion grapegrowers’ representative, Baron of Barossa Leo Pech, who said this was the worst vintage he’d seen in 61 years, as reported here at the beginning of vintage.

Judson Barry, of Brian Barry Wines (less than 100 tonnes) more recently told DRINKSTER “I can speak first hand for the Clare district. The Riesling and Shiraz grapes that I have crushed and seen crushed thus far are 1st class quality. A higher than usual amount of fruit has indeed been left on the vine however, due to poor quality arrived from disease. Harvest is approximately 1/2 complete. One must take into account that it is not just fruit quality that determines the final result of the wine quality. This depends heavily on the particular winemaking method that the fruit is subject to. Winemaking techniques or methods are infinite!”

THE GREAT CLARE RIESLING ACE AND MASTER WINE JUDGE, BRIAN BARRY, THE AUTHOR, AND JUDSON BARRY AT BRIAN'S RECENT 84TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS

In the Murray Valley, organic wine grower Michael O’Donohue of Tom’s Drop (less than 20 tonnes) insists he has very good fruit ripening calmly. Another organic Berri company, 919 Wines (less than 100 tonnes), was slightly more specific when Jenny Semmler reflected Judson Barry’s opinion.

“Quality has been marvellous when the fruit comes in clean,” she said. “This vintage will be a test of the winemaker - his or her skill at working closely with the viticulturalist to ensure the fruit is picked at the appropriate time.

“We’re generally finding the fruit is ripe at lower Baumés than usual this year, but with delightful flavour/sugar/acid/tannin balance. Then of course, a good winemaker will be able to be a good custodian of the fruit ... there are traps for unwary players, however.”

TOP-QUALITY EARLY-PICKED SHIRAZ FROM OLIVER'S TARANGA, McLAREN VALE

Closer to home, Inkwell (under 20 tonnes) proprietor Dudley Brown, of McLaren Vale, reports ideal ferments. His neighbour, Paul Petagna (under 10 tonnes) has a winery full of calm, clean ferments. These tiny super-premium local heroes are joined by Roger Pike, of Marius (under 20 tonnes), who says one of his ferments is a bit tricky, but the other two are more or less ideal. Oliver’s Taranga, which picked early, has magnificent wine.

In the Barossa, Tim Smith (right), who will soon be the former winemaker of Chateau Tanunda as he pursues his own revered brand, insists there are some very fine parcels of fruit in that district, while admitting it has not been ideal for many.

So take these claims as you wish, and prepare to see them reflected, or not, on the back labels of the 2011 bottles, if not the bladder packs.

But if it’s forensic accuracy you want, you can’t go past Louisa Rose’s forerunner at the winemaking helm at Yalumba. Brian Walsh, now director of strategy and business management there, wrote a vintage report that is blistering in its honesty and precision.

“The wettest growing season [of the post WWII period]” he stated “being the second wettest year on record. The rain and cold conditions extended right through vintage leading to big losses from disease and produced mostly thin wines from unripe grapes … growers suffered severe losses (as high as 40%) from Downy Mildew due to the wet season – in fact Peter Lehmann did not make any red wine suitable to bottle … ”

Trouble is, Walshie was talking about 1974*.




FOOTNOTES

1. *This quote is from BAROSSA (Barossa Valley – Eden Valley) Vintage Classification 1947 – 1998 (authors: Peter Fuller and Brian Walsh; publisher: Barossa Wine And Tourism Association 1999).

2. A much shorter version of this story first appeared here. I have deleted it, but saved the comments already posted.

Marie Linke from Karra Yerta said...

“About to catch up on your latest posts, Philip. I lapsed into a coma last night for eleven hours which was probably a good thing. Bad thing was, when I woke up, it was still vintage.” April 5, 2011 5:15 PM

Anonymous said...

“There is Barossa Shiraz that has already been graded Grange by the Penfolds team!!

“Both Barossa Merlot and Cabernet are the best we have seen in years.” April 5, 2011 5:31 PM

Jenny said...

“Quality has been marvellous when the fruit comes in clean. This vintage will be a test of the winemkaer - his or her skill at working closely with the viticulturalist to ensure the fruit is picked at the appropriate time. Generally finding the fruit is ripe at lower baumes than usual this year, but with delightful flavour/sugar/acid/tannin balance. Then of course, a good winemaker will be able to be a good custodian of the fruit.

“Traps for unwary players, however.” April 6, 2011 5:33 PM

Cam Haskell said...

“Great stuff Whitey.

“A few points. McGuigan thinks some of it's going to be alright. Which begs the question as to why so much of their wine will be so boring.

“The rainfall in WA figures are a tad misleading. Sure, we got a shedload up north, but down here (in Margaret River) we've only just got some yesterday after super tinder-box-dry conditions since Jan, when we had one day of rain. The fruit I've seen has looked AMAZING, and I think this will be a breakout year for Margaret River shiraz, in particular.

“Your point about trumpeting every vintage is bang on the mark. Vintage variation is real, and it's foolish to suggest that, no matter how judicious, selective and pernickety a producer is that it might match up to a better year. It's irritating and largely mendacious in my opinion to go around treating climate as though it is something that can be overcome in the winery. Absolute bobbins.

“As for fruit being graded as grange, given they make this wine every year, what does that mean? Anything?

“In any case, keep up the good work. Best of luck to the rest of yer still picking and crushing.” April 7, 2011 10:25 AM

Anonymous said...

“This vintage should not be the test of the winemaker, unless he is forced to take fruit with laccase problems. This growing season was surely the test of the viticulturist: his/ her sensitivity, forethought and diligence (and in all likelihood budget) in carrying out cultural operations proactively. This year, perhaps winemakers will actually be stewards of fruit for once, since the requirement for bags of acid and the old culebra negra is vastly dwindled?” April 7, 2011 12:36 PM

CLICK BELOW TO READ OTHER COMMENTS AND ADD YOUR OWN

26 comments:

E P Regoda said...

You're making it WORSE, Whiteman.

S Heidrich said...

Troy Elliker manages our major company vineyard. We picked the last of our shiraz 2 days ago. It reached full maturity and was barely touched by Botrytis. Still have merlot and sangiovese to go, we will pick them when they are ready as they are perfectly clean. This vineyard that Troy manages is one of the only vineyards we haven't rejected fruit from this year, so from our perspective his comments were on the money.

Philip White said...

I have great respect for Troy, who is a good friend and an uncommonly intelligent and sensitive viticulturer. My overall point, however, is reinforced by your suggestion that his vineyard is "one of the only vineyards that we haven't rejected fruit from this year", indicating that while there are some good patches of McLaren Vale vineyard (and I would expect his to be amongst the very best), there is much that is not quite the premium delight that Troy, and everyone else, hoped it would become.

Max Allen said...

Hey, Whitey, in my defence ... when the journo from The Oz phoned me for comments and background on the vintage I told him that the idea of distilling a vintage report into a couple of short breakouts was ridiculous. I told him, as I said in my column on the same day: "Many vineyards are a total write-off ... many growers have have lost some, most or all of their crop to mildew." I also said - because I have seen it with my own eyes and tasted it with my own mouth, not because I heard it from some winery marketer - that there is some good fruit and wine out there.

Philip White said...

Hands up everyone who've been forced to chaptalise!

info said...

There are certainly some horror stories from vintage 2011 - however today we picked our Poonawatta Riesling and are, thus far, very happy with what we have. 8th of April is the second latest harvest date (12th in 2006). Was there Botrytis? Shit yeah. So, for the last week we invested many hours over the 2 hectares to clean up the vineyard. While we dropped close to 50%, we picked 7 tonne of clean fruit at 11.1 beaume.
Shiraz on the other hand is only at 11.5 beaume - fruit in good condition so far, thanks to lots of canopy work and extensive thinning in Feb... but flavours have a way to go. So fingers crossed,
Cheers, Andrew Holt

Anonymous said...

Whitey
While the hand of God seems to be holding Thor's hammer this vintage, perhaps this is the watershed event that we've all been muttering about needing and secretly hoping would sort everyone else out leaving us unscathed. Why not, it's human nature. The broad generalization that the vintage is well and truly fucked can't be denied. But like a person with 85% 3rd degree burns, there's still 15% skin that's awesome. Wether the body will survive is of course another matter entirely.
We've had the geographical fortune coupled with the sort of viticulture that promotes open airy canopies and clones that produce loose bunches. Thankfully this meant that almost all of our Shiraz has been beeyootiful- apart from the bits that were fucked of course.
I think this year is going to sort out the Posers in it for the wank value of having a label from the truly passionate Winos who would try to crawl towards a burning fermenter soaked in petrol with all their limbs broken just to see whether setting the wine on fire was the answer...
Oh and regarding 74; this was the vintage that started the widespread acceptance of vineyard spraying, machine harvesting and (surely) a whole bunch of other innovations that we take forgranted 35 odd years later. When 2011 is finally done and dusted I'm personally twivering with anticipation to see what new ideas and viticultural / oenological practices are washed up.
Cheers
Dave Lehmann, david Franz

Philip White said...

David Franz Lehmann, I think your comment is the best summary and most honest appraisal I have heard from the Barossa.

Your theory about 74 being the trigger for modern spray/trellis/viti regimes is true, but it's not the whole story, however. When Gough and Malcolm insisted on equal pay for women, the old family companies refused to pay women vineyard laborers the same rates as men. This forced the perfection of the harvesting and pruning machines, and because you can't put a harvester over a curved trellis wire, all the old environmentally-sensitive countoured trellising had to go. So you had vinerows that looked like fences going straight up and down hillsides, encouraging erosion. Then we started to think we could prune and harvest better mechanically if the vinerow was like a fence. Then we realised that if we had a fence of fruit, we could add more fruiting wires and get higher tonnages. This needed more water, which introduced salination but first which grew more foliage, which became a handy incubator for moulds, which required more spray.

The wet of 74 simply magnified all this, and hastened the adoption of the modern industrial grapeyard philosophies which the smartest viticulturers are now abandoning.

No?

Anonymous said...

Picked most of our Shiraz in Blewitt Springs yesterday before this curtain call rain, by the grace of God, with sugar/acid/flavour balance close to perfect and botrytis only knocking at the door it was threatening to break down-should make good wine, no wank.
Don't need to play the pokies when you grow grapes for a living!
PS Hands up any grower who has felt like killing the urban wine afficionado whose response to the word botrytis says 'noble rot'

Simon Burnell said...

Mr White!
We in The West have become a little too used to explaining to the Parker obsessed and/or geographically illiterate in lands afar why our vintage conditions cannot be lumped in with the Barossa. Didn't ever think it would be required here though! I can happily and honestly report that far from suffering the wrath of Huey this year, 2011 has likely been the warmest and driest vintage ever for the majority of WA winegrowing regions and producers. The main threat came from it being TOO DRY in some parts. That risk was negated by two well timed rains a fortnight apart in January - then pretty much NONE until every grape was picked. The only other 'problem' was how compact the ripening of varieties was - placing pressure on tired workers and winery infrastructure.
Rather than looking at rainfall by state (if the north of SA had a wet summer, would it be fair to imply that so had the wine regions all of which are in the SE corner?), I suggest the link: http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/awap/rain/index.jsp?colour=colour&time=latest&step=0&map=anomaly&period=6month&area=nat - do the same for temperature anomaly (as well as actuals) and you get the full picture. The BOM site has been upgraded to awesome status in what details are available. Unfortunately an accurate map of moulds and mildew isn't there yet...
From this corner, it also lends support to the Hunter claiming their excellent (least Hunteresque?) vintage also.
Cheers!
Simon Burnell (Geographe, WA)

Zar Brooks said...

A thought, we can surely assume already that the assorted winescribes will be warning all warm climate SA red drinkers that they will have to gold cold turkey on the OTT styles with V2011 in a few years time. So we all truly embrace the pepper and spice and medium bodies that we are all so enamoured of. Chiz Zar

KARRA YERTA WINES said...

Just wrote a rather long comment only to have it disappear - much like our hopes for our 2011 riesling. All I can say, is that it's been too wet for too long for us. It was always a worry when the long haul of spraying started, and the rain kept coming.

I have my own opinions of vintage 2011, at least of the Barossa, Langhorne Creek and McLaren Vale regions, after speaking with winemakers and vignerons. Time till tell, in not only how the wines are upon release, but also in how they age. Dave Lehmann is spot on - it is the year to sort profit from passion. It is nothing to be ashamed of to admit that it's been a tough one. We cannot control the weather, and one can only do their best. I do not believe that we could have made great riesling from the grapes that we ended up with. The last lot of rain sealed our fate. Our dam, which has lousy catchment, was full at the end of summer - which shows me something! That has only happened one other year since we bought this place in 1987. We have also tended our special little vineyard for almost 20 years and this is the first time I can recall this non-event vintage happening for us.

I wish all the people who are harvesting still, the very best of luck. Bring on 2012 so that we can get Colin Forbes to make a kick arse riesling from our special little vineyard to make us forget about 2011.

Nigel Blieschke said...

Hi Phillip,
there is no doubt this year has been one of toughest yet, and yes there will be some bullshit spoken by many. All I can say is at PLW we have some awesome wines in tank from the Barossa Valley (floor). our Eden Valley Riesling also look very good. The main thing for me this vintage is that good viticulture shone through in every region (except Clare where the rain beat us all). Those that prune, spray and canopy manage properly have ripened early and look great. Those that dont have not been picked. I think your comments miss this fact and in just about every region there will be some great wines made from well managed vineyards picked at the right time.

Philip White said...

You just can't get it, you guys. I say over and over and over that there will be some good wines made, and you'd all look pretty damned stupid employees of your owner/shareholders if you didn't. I've even put photographs of clean fruit up, to show this is possible. Every time you misunderstand or overlook this, and bleat in this contrary manner, you prove my other premise: the wine industry is capable of some utter bullshit. How many points out of ten would you give this vintage?

Anonymous said...

Whitey just read your reply to my comment and you say you have said over and over again there will be some good wines made from this vintage but not once in your article do you say that. Do you honestly believe that your comments on the vintage help the industry?

dave Lehmann said...

"... alright, let's call it a draw then..."

...clippety cloppetty clippety clop...

"...oi come back here ya bastard and I'll bite your arms off!!!!"

Philip White said...

Maybe I was shade intemperate in that response, Nigel, but I've done radio and written of this vintage for months in many more places than in this piece, and in every case I explain that some people, some through skill and modest expectations, many of them just lucky, will make some pretty tidy wine. But tell me how much slurry has come into your hoppers this year.

Philip White said...

... all you have to do is scroll down three or four stories and you'll see what I mean.

As for your query about my comments helping the industry? I am not here to represent the wine industry. I am a representative of my readers, who are wine consumers from all over the world. Although most of the marketing push behind the wine boom, the promotion of the wines, and education of the customers has been done well for no charge to the wine industry by newspapers and journalists during the last thirty years, it must be remembered that the critic works for his readers in every case.

Unless of course he's a corrupt and bent bastard, in which case I'll bet he's an unhappy and snivelling son of a bitch as well.

Philip White said...

ERGO: FREE 2011 BACK LABEL TEXT

2011 was a miraculous vintage, and one of the toughest yet. We were so careful not to irrigate that our dam is still full. When I woke from my tragic post-beach coma, and discovered it was upon us, I quickly realized that many unfortunate neighbours were under the pump with heartbreak harvests. Disease, moulds and rot saw a higher than usual amount of fruit left on the vine elsewhere, but as usual the grapes we picked are better than usual, thanks to our brilliant Amorim-Adelaide University-Monsanto regime which shines right through the wine. We let the usual percentage of our Shiraz go off to Grange, then I added the ancient French chaptalization technique to the infinite winemaking methods we traditionally employ, embraced the medium-pepper and spice our consumers adore, and made this awesome cool climate wine for early drinking or extended maturation. A elegant funky wine of body and balance. Great with all food. Excellent! Enjoy!

Lutheran Peasant said...

Don't you be worried Mr. White. Mr Nigel Bitchsky would have read his loca lpaper by now:

http://barossaupdate.com/?p=1092

Sounding like he doesn't afford to buy any grapes/fruit from the better growers?

Anonymous said...

McLaren Vale gives the 2011 Vintage the Heads-up

In a year that had its measure of challenges the consensus from McLaren Vale is that the region has fared better than many.

Growers who were very committed and walking their vineyards have been rewarded with some exceptional fruit.

Proactive and talented winemakers have adapted to the seasonal conditions and again McLaren Vale has earned its place as one of the most reliable and highly regarded regions in Australia.

‘Yes we have had to be selective and yes fruit hit the ground, but what is in the winery looks pretty smart”…..Andrew Kay, Managing Director, Wirra Wirra.

“We are enthused with the cabernet and believe it could be the star this year”

Community spirit has been alive and well during the vintage and was highlighted at McLaren Vintners from General Manager, Anna Fisher “wine was sent to us, our fermentation space was full so someone else backed up and a week later the reverse occurred and the favour was returned.”

Some growers have faced lower crop levels than anticipated, but with the close scrutiny in the vineyards to select the best fruit, winelovers can expect McLaren Vale 2011 vintage to be on the money.

A final word from Corrina Wright, Olivers Taranga, “have had a look through my 2011 wines in barrel and I am very happy with how it is looking so far. Fiano, Cabernet, Shiraz, Grenache – stand outs.”

For further information
Elizabeth Tasker
CEO – McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism

eliot dry said...

we know about wirra wirra how long is it since they made a wine truly reflective of the vale zand what the fuck is mclaren vintenrs? what do they make? never heard of em!!! heads up and on the money sounds like like flippin coins to me and this bulshit is what you are talking about all the way along the track huh!

Randalle McQuarrie said...

I used to walk my vineyard every night on Maslins. Bitch usually ran away up the nudist end and bit people on the arse. Now I keep her on a leash, but she still stunk this year. Even sprayed her with WD40.

Anonymous said...

DOES THE FOLLOWING MEAN WE WILL BE EXPECTED TO DRINK THE CRAP THAT HAS GROWN IN THE WETTEST, MOULDIEST VINTAGE SINCE 1974?

HEADLINE: Wet weather has little effect on wine glut


Wine grape production is expected to fall by just 2 per cent to 1.5 million tonnes in 2010–2011, despite a challenging season for growers.

The projections form part of the latest Australian Wine Grape Production Projections released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Science yesterday.

"Wet conditions this season were favourable for vine growth and berry size," ABARES deputy executive director Paul Morris said.

"However, the humid conditions were also conducive to a number of diseases such as downy mildew, powdery mildew and botrytis, which required growers to increase spraying to reduce damage to wine grapes."

The largest decline in wine grape production is forecast to occur in Murray — Darling — Swan Hill, with production expected to be about 297,000 tonnes, 36,000 tonnes less compared with last season.

"With harvest still underway, continued wet conditions have caused late disease outbreaks in some regions which may also affect the final production outcome and lower the quality of grapes delivered to wineries," Morris said.

Production in 2011–12 is expected to increase by 10 per cent to about 1.7 million tonnes, assuming seasonal conditions are favourable and there is a return to average yields. Production is expected to remain steady at 1.7 million tonnes in 2012–13.

Shiraz followed by Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are likely to be the highest-volume wine grapes produced in Australia in coming two years.

Australian winegrape production in 2009–2010 is estimated to have been just over 1.5 million tonnes, about nine per cent lower than the 2008–2009 harvest. This is due to reduced irrigation supplies and the prolonged heatwave in November 2009 which affected flowering and early fruit setting.

The AWGPP was commissioned by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation.

A Bear said...

http://adl.brs.gov.au/data/warehouse/pe_abares99001804/RR11.03WineGrapeProjectionsREPORT.pdf

... scary stuff in here Phillip!

Anonymous said...

Phil Lehmo - your a fucking legend! Colorfully and succinctly put, bravo!!
Richard Bate