2019 Vintage Report
From the Winemaker...
Climatically, the season for the Geographe wine region has been cool and dry. The five months until the end of January have yielded little rain, about 70mm less than this time last year.
The cooler weather has also disrupted flowering and fruit set resulting in much smaller bunch sizes and high incidence of hen and chicken. The cooler conditions have continued into January, and January 2019 average temperature of 21.3 is two degrees Celsius lower than the 23.3 of 2016.
Up until the first week of April and Vintage 2019 was a case of so far so good however with plenty of red fruit still to be harvested and nearing towards the end of a cool season, a real assessment of vintage would unfold over the next month. The expectation for more sunshine was not realised and, whilst it was still dry, the fruit, mostly late season Cabernet Sauvignon, was left to hang and gain as much ripeness as possible before the season closed.
In recent memory, we have never had the same issues with birds as we did this year. Plenty of them! Native vegetation only crept into a late and small flowering season, certainly not the bountiful flowering we expect. Also, extremely low yields, specifically in Chardonnay and Shiraz. A product of cool flowering conditions.
The highlight was cool ripening conditions, which allowed winemakers to harvest white fruit at optimum. Aromatic, concentrated and exhibiting succulent acidities. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc the standouts.
A burst of late sunshine was just the tonic for Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Lower red yields in general could well have been a blessing, allowing balanced vine loads to achieve ripeness. Later season reds lacked a little colour and intensity as the temperatures dropped and the season closed.