Vintage 2019 is over for another year. Here our vineyard and winery teams report on the season.
Chris Brodie - Senior Viticulturist, Katnook Coonawarra. South Australia.
This year was later than recent vintages and was more like the seasons we experienced in the 2000’s. Rainfall up to mid-December meant very little irrigation was needed on established vines.
The heatwave in late January was well forecast, so thankfully we were able to manage harvest accordingly.
Largely due to a light frost in November and unseasonal weather during flowering, crop loads were below average and 20% lower than 2018. We enjoyed a very good quality growing season, with our vines replanted in 2015 and 2016 doing well.
The whites showed good natural acidity and complex flavours at harvest. The reds had good, deep colours and great varietal characters.
Overall, 2019 has been a pleasing season and working with the new winery team went very smoothly indeed.
Tim Heath - Winemaker, Katnook Coonawarra. South Australia.
My first full vintage at Katnook was an exciting one, working closely with the vineyard team to maximise fruit potential across all varieties. Our wines certainly benefit from state of the art equipment, such as the stainless steel basket press. Some winemaking initiatives this vintage included:
Wild yeast fermentation on some White and Red batches;
Gravity feeding red fruit directly to fermenters to assist in production of lifted aromatics through some Carbonic Maceration and finer management of tannin profile through less front-end maceration;
Extended post ferment maceration on some Shiraz and Cabernet parcels;
Inclusion of whole bunch in some Shiraz ferments;
Use of high-quality French oak across all red varieties and chardonnay –to produce wines with greater oak balance, integration and complexity.
At this early stage, here is how each wine is shaping up so far.
Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir – elegant base wines thanks to focussing on front end handling to decrease phenolic pick up, including modification of press programs to Cremant cycles (Champagne press cycles).
Sauvignon Blanc – good acid balance. Should produce elegant wines with solid varietal character
Chardonnay – picked earlier than previous years to capture a fresher more citrus driven flavour profile. Looking strong.
Shiraz – fresh, elegant wines that showcase a “cooler climate” aroma and flavour profile.
Cabernet Sauvignon - lifted, fragrant cabernets produced from what should turn out to be a strong vintage.
Overall, I am anticipating some very strong 2019 wines in the bottle.