McLaren Vale | 2015
The 2015 vintage in McLaren Vale will be remembered as one of the earliest and most condensed in history thanks largely to an extremely dry and warm growing season. July rainfall was outstanding with big falls setting up what we thought would be an easy growing season. But the tap was turned off and the rain dried up markedly culminating in some of the driest and warmest spring months on record. As a result the vines powered along through their life cycle with budburst and flowering amongst the earliest ever recorded.
Despite some welcome rainfall in early January, the dry weather continued over summer. Although we were able to irrigate to keep the vines happy there is nothing quite like real rain to feed their requirements. The dry and warm conditions continued to push the vines through their lifecycle at a rapid pace resulting in one of the earliest harvests on record and all varieties ripening at once.
The varieties with thicker skins such as Vermentino endured the challenge with relative ease. For the thinner skin Shiraz and even Cabernet the dry conditions were somewhat tougher. Thanks to the decades of experience of the Lopresti family we were able to manage the vines through any dehydration issues with careful monitoring and targeted irrigations. Across the board, the conditions led to reduced berry weight. A relatively mild second half of January and early part of February, right in the heart of flavour development, in combination with the small berries led to excellent acidity and produced red wines of incredible colour and deeply concentrated flavour.