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Katnook Estate

News and Blog

Katnook Estate
20 September 2018 | Katnook Estate

Langton's Classification V11 released.

The Langton’s VII Classification was released on September 1st 2018 and Katnook Coonawarra is delighted that again, the following wines are included in just 136 of Australia's finest.  The wines are:

Katnook Odyssey - Outstanding Category and
Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - Excellent Category.

The inaugural Classification, in 1990, included just 34 wines. Classifications II, III and IV followed at approximately five-year intervals, tracking the leading wines, and documenting the dramatic growth and increasing maturity of the Australian fine wine scene.

Almost three decades on from its inception, the Classification's authority is firmly entrenched aorund the world.

The seventh edition – unveiled on 1 September 2018 – features 136 wines and incorporates a number of important changes and additions. In its early years the Classification successfully strengthened the fledgling market for fine Australian wine. It is now arguably the most famous and widely-respected wine Classification outside Europe.

The two basic requirements for inclusion in the Classification are that a wine has been made for a minimum of 10 vintages and that it has a track record in the secondary market.

Eligibility rests on how well a wine performs in an open market – the volume of demand it attracts and the prices it realises. Ultimately, the reputation of a wine is based on its auction pedigree – the record it builds up, over time.

Revised every five years, the Classification documents an evolving Australian winemaking culture at the forefront of innovation and excellence in the world of fine wine. It also reflects a continuing momentum towards single vineyard wines and regional identity. It maintains a strong emphasis on red wines, particularly labels renowned for cellaring potential.

The Classification is market-driven, and the market shifts and changes over time. While a number of wines have moved within categories, all wines from Classification V have been retained in Classification VI, underlining the maturity and stability of the market.

The Classification is aimed at anyone with an interest in fine wine. Many will be connoisseurs and collectors, and the Classification inevitably includes wines that are popular with investors. While some classified wines have increased in value over time, Langton’s advice is to beware of investing in wine for financial profit without a full understanding of the pitfalls.

As a reflection of market sentiment captured on a regular, moving basis, the Classification does not and cannot aim to be absolute or definitive; the market is always in flux.

The authority of the Classification derives from its independence; the fundamental criteria for inclusion are objective and market-driven.

Katnook Estate
3 August 2018 | Katnook Estate

Halliday 2019 'Wine Companion' - Five Red Stars for Katnook Coonawarra

James Halliday​ yesterday released his 2019 'WineCompanion' and we are thrilled to announce that Katnook Coonawarra​ has retained its 5 red star status.  
Check out Halliday's 'Wine Companion' reviews for Katnook here.

Katnook Estate
17 July 2018 | Katnook Estate

Final report on Vintage 2018

Vintage is over for another year at Katnook Coonawarra and early reports are that 2018 is shaping up to be a fantastic year.  Harvest began early on February 6th and finished late on April 12th.  It was drier and warmer than average, with crops down by about a third, due to a spring frost.  As the Coonawarra Vignerons report, 2018 is shaping up to be an 'amazing' season throughout the region.

Katnook Coonawarra General Manager of Viticulture, Chris Brodie reported this early start to vintage was despite late budburst.  He says, “The spring leading up to the 2018 vintage at Katnook Coonawarra was wet, providing good soil moisture which gave the vines an excellent start, with very little early season irrigation required. Temperatures were relatively warm which also encouraged good vine growth, especially in newly planted areas. 

A significant late frost in early November caused crop losses throughout Coonawarra, Wrattonbully and Padthaway. Katnook’s crop was subsequently down by around 30%, with Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon at Founder’s Block level most affected. In mid November, we experienced heavy rainfall of around 75mm in one day but thereafter enjoyed warm, clear conditions for the rest of vintage. 

In mid-January, most of southern Australia, including Coonawarra had several days of heatwave conditions, which brought forward the first day of vintage by about 3 weeks to February 6th with Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir for sparkling wine. Harvest continued at an even pace and finished with the last of the Cabernet Sauvignon on April 12th.

In summary, the 2018 season was significantly warmer and drier than usual as seen in the chart below.  Grape flavours across all varieties are better than they have ever been, we have some excited winemakers in the region!"

Temperature and Rainfall - 2018 vs average.
2018 season vs average for past 40 years Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar
Rainfall mm ,actual 45 39 59 11 13 6 14
Rainfall mm, average 66 48 41 32 26 18 28
Temperature degrees C, actual 11.5 14.8 19.4 17.8 21.2 20.9 20.3
Temperature degrees C, average 11.7 13.3 15.7 17.5 19.4 19.7 17.6

Katnook’s Vintage Winemaker, Greg Clayfield with his wealth of winemaking experience has superbly steered our team though Vintage 2018 until Tim Heath started as Senior Winemaker this June. 

Greg reported “Ideal, even ripening conditions lead to a very controlled harvest and crush schedule, with all varieties picked at optimum maturity. A key factor was the sustained dry season , with neither rainfall nor temperature extremes having any influence.

Flavours are very promising with Riesling and Shiraz the standouts.  A significant amount of work was put into smaller scale Shiraz ferments, incorporating hand-picked whole bunches. The subsequent wines will make a significant contribution when the Shiraz blends are finalised.

Cabernet Sauvignon are rich, elegant and distinctly regional.  After the very early start in February the last fruit, Cabernet Sauvignon, was picked quite late on April 12th.

A significant contributor to the smooth running of the winery was the input of Jo Ahearn MW in her role as Vintage Winemaker.  Jo is a star multi tasker, bringing experience ranging from winemaking in the Barossa Valley to managing a large winery in New South Wales, working in the London Wine Trade through to now operating her own winery and brand in Croatia.  

In short, 2018 was a very good Coonawarra vintage here at Katnook.”



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