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McLaren Vale | 2013

The 2013 vintage was a great one for us, producing outstanding wines full of bright, fresh flavour and excellent tannin structure.

Winter rains were excellent and we began the season with soils at full water capacity, a rare event in these recent dry years. Summer was quite mild and dry to begin. The dry conditions then continued, and coupled with a small spike of heat in the second half of February made life a little stressful for the vines. It's important for vines to feel stressed to create deep flavours but we were walking a thin line at this stage. The yields were slightly lower than average and coupled with the very dry, warm, stressful conditions all varieties ripened very quickly, and all at once!

Quite unusually the Shiraz was ripe at the same time as our Vermentino and Sangiovese Rose. This made life a little tricky in the winery, with everyone working extremely hard to manage the rapid intake of fruit. We were given some respite however as the a small amount of rain together with some milder weather caused sugar levels in the fruit to plateau for a couple of weeks allowing us to take a bit more time.

Overall the quality of the wines is excellent though. The Jester whites and rose are full of flavour with balancing acidity, and ripe at slightly higher sugar levels than previous years. The reds are deeply coloured with excellent structure. They are not as full in flavour as 2012, with a lighter feel to them that will likely fill out as they age in barrel. This will be remembered as an excellent vintage, perhaps not quite as ‘classically’ good as 2010 or 2012 but certainly up there in that echelon.