The 2021 Barossa Valley vintage is shaping up to be a one of the classics, with very high quality and good yields.
To understand why the quality is extremely promising, we must look at the critical points within the growing season.
The season started with an average winter rainfall, although July was drier. Above average rainfall through August, September and October resulted in very good subsoil moisture setting up healthy vines.
The Barossa experienced welcomed rainfall in January, however this was more prominent in the Southern Barossa. More widespread rainfall was experienced over the first weekend in February keeping the vines and canopy very healthy.
One of the key drivers for the high quality was temperature or lack of it. Generally, the temperatures were below average apart from November which was slightly above average.
We experienced very mild conditions through December, January, February and March with only two days over 40C.
I cannot remember a milder Summer in recent years – Craig Stansborough
The most exciting outcome of the vintage is the quality across every variety. Flavours came early with canopy health and berry integrity the best we have seen in many years.
We kicked off the season on the 2 February with the Pinot Blanc, this looks exceptional with pristine aromatics and great natural acidity.
The first of our Shiraz was harvested two weeks later on the 18 February, as noted the lack of hot weather and regular rainfall was very very kind to all red varieties, we have great colour, varietal definition and ripe tannin. Shiraz has great purity, ripe tannins and lovely persistence, reminds us a little of 2018 but with even better flavours.
The Planta Circa Cabernet Sauvignon looks exceptional, it has it all, great colour, varietal aromatics and flavours, it potentially could be the best yet.
Grenache also has performed well and probably benefited from poor set keeping crop levels under control, they also have nice colour and great aromatic with good flesh.
The Italian varieties look brilliant, hard to choose a favourite! Aglianico and Montepulciano have wonderful fruit intensity, but more pleasing are the tannins that these varieties display, extremely exciting! We also crushed a small amount of Primitivo for the first time, very happy with results so watch this space.
Pinot Gris – Adelaide Hills
A quick note on the only non-Barossa wine we make, the 2021 Adelaide Hills Colours of the South Pinot Gris.
The Hills had a similar growing season to the Barossa with a touch more rainfall & like the Barossa a cooler than average conditions. This has resulted in one of the best Gris’s we have made, fantastic fruit that jumps out of the glass, great mouthfeel and lovely natural acidity. We are planning to bottle late May & cannot wait to get this wine out to our Pinot Gris fans.
Mataro finished the season and was harvested on the 19 April, touch early to call the quality but like the rest it does look very promising.
Mark & Craig