McLaren Vale | 2005
After a reasonably wet winter across the McLaren Vale region, the vines burst well with good early shoot growth. McLaren Vale had a milder than usual summer with very few days of extreme temperatures, allowing canopies to be maintained right through to vintage with minimal irrigation. This resulted in an excellent, even ripening period. Attaining sugar ripeness was definitely not an issue this year, with very high Baumes before the onset of flavour ripeness. Wineries were put under pressure with the fruit appearing to ripen all together - particularly Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, which make up in excess of 70% McLaren Vale's production. Anecdotal reports suggest that vintage was completed in seven weeks compared with the usual average 10 - 12 weeks. Overall the wineries are reasonably pleased with the quality of the fruit and some have commented that the Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are looking particularly good this year.
Barossa Valley | 2005
Vintage 2005 was largely trouble free in the Barossa Valley. The summer period was extremely mild with temperatures approximately two degrees below average and humidity slightly above average. This allowed all vineyards to grow under low stress conditions. In response irrigation timing and volumes were in most cases quite minimal. During the mid part of January some of the premium Shiraz vineyards were bunch thinned in an attempt to bring maturity forward into the earlier part of the season. The month of February was quite dry and mild, with rainfall approximately 10mm below average. Vintage began slightly later than normal; many reds did not achieve flavour ripeness until they were at least 14* Baume, but producing more subtle berry flavours as a result.