Vintage is in the bag for another year and what a great year it was. Katnook Viticulturist, Chris Brodie elaborates on the growing conditions. "Katnook had an ideal lead up to Vintage 2016, with above average temperatures for the early part of the season (especially October), and the driest spring and summer for many years, maybe on record.
Harvest started on February 5th 2016, our earliest vintage yet, with the harvest of pinot meuniere, then chardonnay and pinot noir for sparkling wine base – followed by whites. Red varieties were picked throughout March with harvest ending on 31st March.
We had occasional, light rain during vintage which, with water from our high quality ground water resources, helped sustain the vines and fruit quality. Cabernet sauvignon quality is particularly exciting.
There were no frosts or disease in the lead up to harvest, nor any weather extremes. Good quality fruit growth and near perfect crop load balance resulted in a pleasing vintage."
Senior Winemaker Wayne Stehbens reports that, "2016 was our earliest start to vintage on record and it was a year of ‘firsts’.
-the first time all the white wines have been picked by the end February.
-the first time we have picked red grapes (other than sparkling base) in February (on the 29th).
-the first time we have finished picking all grapes by 31st March.
The cooler nights and days experienced in early March slowed down the maturities of red grapes, thus greatly enhancing colour and flavour retention.
Our early predictions of above average quality for white wines were accurate. Sparkling wines and the whites – chardonnay, riesling and sauvignon blanc - have great balance, pleasing varietal flavours and aromatics.
The red wines at this early stage have excellent colour, generous flavours and persistent tannin structures, adding balance and weight.
Overall, I rate 2016 as a well above average year."