2018 Vintage Report from Bruce Tyrrell – Edition 4
Wed, February 7th 2018 / No Comment
This week marks pretty much all of the 2018 red Vintage. We started with 4 Acres and finished with Mother’s block the morning of Wednesday, 7 February. We did not pick last Wednesday as the Shiraz behaved the same as the Chardonnay and Semillon. The earlier blocks which were in fact the highest in alcohol at about 14% then the rest of it lagged, and we needed to wait for that day to get good flavour ripeness. Pretty much everything from Thursday last week on is around 13.5% alcohol, and all of the fruit is of very high quality. Like the Chardonnay the berries are smaller than normal so all of the ferments have got tremendous colour and I doubt there will be any shortage of tannin. Everything has cropped at between a tonne and a half and two tonnes per acre, which is our ideal range. I still walk up and down the rows and look at the Shiraz we have dropped on the ground at Christmas time. One side of me says ‘We have wasted the fruit and maybe if we had waited another two weeks we could have got it all ripe’. The other side of my brain knows by controlling the yield we maintain the quality level we need.
The three Sacred Site reds, Old Patch, 4 Acres and Johnno’s will all go to bottle out of 2018.
All we have left to pick now is two or three tonnes of Cabernet at Pokolbin Hills for Vat 8, the DeBeyers Sangiovese, and some Tempranillo that we plan to make into Rose. This will all add up to about 10 tonnes, and should be done by this time next week.
Andrew Pengilly and Mark Richardson have gone to Heathcote today to check it out, and it looks like two to three weeks away before we start. The vineyard staff, this morning, were looking at each other and thinking “What do we do in February because we are normally picking grapes?”. If all the early indicators are correct I do not think there will be very much difference between this year and last, and there will be some very very good Shiraz.