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2014 Vintage Report

– Matthew Byrne

Evans and Tate - Margaret River


Margaret River is known for producing exceptional vintages consistently and it is fair to say that 2014 was no exception.

In total, Evans & Tate crushed 4,925 tonnes of grapes with 800 tonnes (16.2%) coming from our own vineyards. The rest, some 4125 tonnes of grapes, was made up by contracted vineyards and wine supply arrangements.

The first crush was on 3 February (Sauvignon Blanc from Margaret River) and the last crush was on 15-April (Cabernet Sauvignon from Mount Barker).


Evans & Tate - Vintage



The Viticulture: 

The exceptional vintage started in September 2013 where rainfall for the month was over double the long term average (215mm vs 105mm)– a great start to the season to set up the vines– especially our dry grown Blocks. Rainfall for the entire 2013 calendar year was not only the highest since 1996, but also the only year since 1996 that it has exceeded the long-term average. However the real beauty of 2013 is that it all fell at the right time– post-harvest, winter and early Spring of 2013– exceptional!


Evans & Tate - Vintage


This was followed by very dry but not hot conditions, which is perfect for wine grape growing. The entire Summer only recorded 7mm of rain! Then a perfectly timed 17mm rain event on March 31 finished off the ripening of our older Cabernet Blocks.


It was a gentle Summer in Margaret River with remarkably unchanging conditions day after day right up until Autumn and the final days of harvest . Only a one day heat spike on Sunday 12 January (37C) was experienced which was too early in the season to have any impact. These mild conditions retained grape acids and minimised phenolics in the white varieties whilst maximising their aromatic and flavour intensity. The slow, even rate of ripening meant harvest decisions were exact, with the result being exceptionally balanced juices and wines. The reds also had lower Baume levels at full ripeness and a fineness of tannin– similar to in 2008.



Evans & Tate - Vintage


The Wines:


  • Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River. No surprise here but they are showing beautiful elegance whilst still having the power of flavour for which they are renowned. Many Cabernet parcels are also showing lovely perfume.


  • Shiraz from Margaret River, Frankland River, Mount Barker & Porongurup – all of WA really! This vintage has resulted in Shiraz showing particularly strong regional and individual vineyard character– more so than in recent vintages. A tasting of our Shiraz vineyards from this year is one of the most exciting I have done in my 14 vintages at Evans & Tate.


Evans & Tate - Vintage


  • Sauvignon Blanc from Margaret River. Aromatic and flavour intensity dialed up from the vintage conditions– our southern Margaret River vineyards leading the way.


  • Riesling from Frankland River. Highly perfumed and intensely flavoured- our two vineyards are very distinct and blend exceptionally well– quality is similar to our very good 2009 wine.


  • Some special parcels of note are Malbec (Margaret River), Pinot Noir (Porongurup) and Cabernet Sauvignon (Blackwood Valley).




Find out more about the Margaret River winemaking region or read Matthew Byrne’s profile. 




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