The Barossa experienced a very dry winter and spring, causing some concern amongst vignerons and winemakers alike.
Coupled with the ‘pleasure’ of a hail storm hitting some of our vineyards on 22 November 2018, and the hot dry conditions through January and February 2019 – made it another vintage of extremes!
Apart from our Montepulciano, Vintage 2019 will prove to be our lowest-yielding Barossa harvest since 2009.
The 2019 harvest started with picking our older Shiraz on the 25 February 2019 and was completed with the Aglianico on the 4 of April 2019.
Given the difficult weather conditions, we are quite excited about what we have made from the 2019 vintage. Shiraz which received the brunt of the hailstorm, combined with the warm and dry growing conditions, gave very light crops and small berries. However, this did result in good colour intensity, depth and varietal definition – promising even at this early stage.
The Ancestor Vine Cabernet has loads of depth and flavour, quite surprising given the conditions.
Grenache is very impressive. The dry warm conditions are perfect for this variety. This is a favoured variety with us here at Purple Hands and all three Grenache wines we make will shine from the 2019 vintage.
Yes, you read that right – three Grenache wines… stay tuned!
Maybe the stars of the vintage are the three Italian varietals, Montepulciano, Aglianico & Negroamaro. These varieties seem to cope with most weather conditions that Mother Nature throws at them. Their colour, depth, varietal definition and wonderful tannin has us very excited. We will definitely be botting Aglianico & Montepulciano as single vineyard varietals, but it should also be a joy blending the Serata.
The Negroamaro is also interesting, offering such distinctive flavours. It will be part of a brand new wine, so watch out for something exciting very very soon.
Mataro is another variety that loved the weather conditions. This generally late ripening variety was able to achieve very good phenolic ripeness. Something not always achieved in this variety. This in turn allowed for longer maceration on skins, as well as the addition of some whole clusters in the ferment which we have never tried this before. We have received some interesting results. Could be a chance of a single release. The last one was the fabulous 2015 vintage which was another warmer vintage.
A tough year in terms of crop levels, but the quality is very is smart. We will update everybody later in the year and let you know how the wines from 2019 are progressing.
Mark & Craig