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Winemaker’s comments on the 2016 Margaret River vintage

– Matthew Byrne



A very different vintage yet again. A dry warm Spring and Summer meant it was tracking early but a tropical rain event in late January which saw a minimum of 70-80 mm across the region which pushed back harvest dates slightly. The reds (especially Cabernet and Merlot) appreciated this rainfall. Although we thought the whites may suffer berry split and disease pressure, the rainfall was early enough and it was followed by warm, dry conditions with fresh sea breezes daily which resulted in no issues – another “lucky” vintage in Margaret River!

Out of the main white varieties, Sauvignon Blanc stands out so far – with great aromatics, perfume and length of flavour. Chardonnay though, is yet again the pick of the white varieties, with extraordinary flavour depth and length at some of the lowest Baume levels I have seen – we have picked a number of parcels at 11.8-12.0 Baume but tasting like they have been picked much riper and richer.

At vintage, the Cabernet is looking exceptional with good, balanced bunch numbers and some of the smallest berry sizes we’ve seen in the past few years. It is shaping up to be a Cabernet vintage to remember (and cellar)!

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