Three years work in one month!

Over the last month a lot has happened as events involving three separate vintages simultaneously converged in that time.  Firstly we had our barrel declassification of the 2012 vintage where we decide which barrels are ready to bottle (for Williams Crossing) and which go on to become Curly Flat and remain in barrel for the next 9 months.  Classically speaking, the more you do something the easier it should become.  But with our barrel declassification it seems we are destined to walk a different path as the each year the overall quality improves gradually, making the decision of where to draw the line harder to make.  We aren’t complaining about it, and of course the opposite to that is true.  We are here to make the best wine we possibly can and we’re more than comfortable with this ‘predicament’.

From here we then also bottled our 2011 Curly Flat Pinot Noir and the 2011 ‘The Curly’ Pinot Noir.  It took us two full days to bottle this sublime vintage from one of our most challenging but also equally rewarding vintages to date.  A highly aromatic release bursting with berry cherry nose which is tensioned with savoury autumnal leaves and exotic spice that merge to create a palate of buoyant gravity.  You can’t have good Pinot Noir without at least facing one oxymoron!  As for the 2011 ‘The Curly’ Pinot Noir, we’ll reveal more on that over the months ahead…

For the final of our 3 years to justify the title of this blog, we are now harvesting our 2013 vintage where the cycle begins.  Well the cycle really begins back in September when the buds first break to herald the new vintage.  Or does it begin when the potential flowers are set for this vintage, two years ago?   Either way harvest 2013 is now underway and forgiving the above passages, it is my intention not to waffle on (for a change) but rather let photos do the talking!   We will talk more on the nature of the 2013 vintage over time and of course it is like any other year in that it is unlike any other…

VINTAGE 2013 – An Endless Summer

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This may be one of the defining photos of the 2013 vintage. The verdant canopy belies the fact that this photo was only taken yesterday (22/3/13).  Whilst Autumn is in the air, it’s most certainly not in the vineyard as the green spinnaker is out at full, guiding this vintage home.

GETTING READY

Fruit picking snips are clean and ready to go!

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A battalion of picking buckets awaiting further orders

One of our French interns, Louis, cleans up our fruit bins to be ready for fruit

VINEYARD SAMPLING

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Vineyard samples for testing. From our three varieties, we perform up to 26 separate tests (so far) determined by the variety, it’s clone and its specific location

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Hydrometry testing determines sugar levels, but sugar is only part of the ‘ripeness’ puzzle..

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Here we are testing the TA (Titratable Acidity) which gives an overall summation of the total combinant acids in the juice. This and the pH take equal importance to sugar. To determine ripeness by sugar alone can leave a wines potential akin to being a luxury yacht without either a rudder or sail. It may look good, but where’s it headed?!

IN THE VINEYARD

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Grape eats Leaf! Caught on film! 22/3/13

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Chardonnay merges with sunlight, showing aesthetics and function can be in the one package.  22/3/13

MORE TO COME! 

  • A day in the life in the vineyard at harvest.
  • Follow Pinot Noir, Chardonnay & Pinot Gris from the vineyard to the winery.