SB_grapesWhat can we tell you about the 2014 vintage? Good things come in small packages, I guess! With the late arrival of summer and the cold, wet flowering season we were always expecting a small harvest. Bud burst was even and it looked like a great start to the season however the gloomy cold and wet, (and a few almost frost events in October) meant the yields were down and the fruit set was poor.

This reduced crop comes with a significant upside, (provided the rest of the season was text book) an increase in flavour and intensity meaning the hallmark elegance of Yarra Valley wines will be well displayed. With the lower yields comes some spectacular wines and the winemaker’s job is made easy. The down side is that there will be fewer bottles of wine available for the wine consumer – so watch this space for the release dates of the 2014 vintage.

Flowering conditions: Poor. Sadly, too much November rain means damage to the delicate flowers and results in a vine that is less fruitful. Upside of that is high quality  and concentration of flavours in the fruit has developed.

Ripening Conditions: Although the summer arrived late it certainly made up for it with a warmer than average January. Near perfect conditions for the later part of the ripening mean moderate days and cool nights, allowing a gentle increase in flavour and sugar.

Fruit Conditions: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay benefited from reduced yields with great concentration of flavours and Shiraz and Cabernet both stood out with the great ripening conditions.

Summary: Low quantity – high quality. Wines you will wish there was more of!