Vintage 2017 is complete - and initial impressions are that we are in for some fabulous wines from this relatively late season.
Viticulturist Chris Brodie explains “ A cool growing season and above average rain leading into 2017 harvest saw a later start to vintage, typical of ten years ago. These cooler conditions resulted in budburst being delayed by up to three weeks, with flowering two weeks later. A warm summer followed, with a welcome spell of hot days in late January.
Harvest started towards early March and continue to completion on 2nd May. Coonawarra has not had a vintage starting this late since the outstanding 2004 vintage.
The 2017 vintage saw white grapes with good varietal definition and the reds, even at lower sugar levels than recent vintages had excellent colour and concentrated fruit flavours. Heavy rain towards the end of April combined with above average yields, meant that not all fruit in Coonawarra was harvested. There are many parcels of high quality grapes for Katnook wines, with Shiraz a standout variety for 2017."
Winemaker Wayne Stehbens says " Overall 2017 was slightly warmer than average, as were yields. Despite some heavy mid-vintage rain, my expectations are for a very good vintage.
Harvest began with Pinot Meuniere, Pinot Noir (for sparkling base) and Sauvignon Blanc. The fruit was in excellent condition, with high natural acidity and great flavours at low sugar levels.
Riesling and Chardonnay followed in mid-March. Overall, the whites are showing forward fruit and good acid balance.
Red grapes came in later than usual, starting in late March and finishing 02 May. We chose to leave some fruit on the vines due to the heavy rains in late April, meaning we did not compromise on quality.
Cabernet at this early stage is deep in colour with elegant fruit flavours and medium body. Shiraz is exceptional, intense, spicy flavours and good palate structure."