There is no doubt that Australia produces some of the best wines in the world from vineyards across the country. We bring you 2015 vintage reports from some of Australia’s best wineries and wine regions.
Margaret River – West Australia’s wine region
You could be forgiven for immediately thinking of great wine on hearing the name ‘Margaret River’. The region has become well-known for a bunch of French varieties, especially Cabernet Sauvignon.
This year’s vintage report shows that yields are down in the region, due to wet and windy conditions and cold nights during flowering, but the quality of fruit is good. The cooler-than-average weather in March allowed for an extended ripening period for reds, which resulted in more complex and enhanced flavours and softer tannins.
For whites, fruit quality was good overall with good sugar levels and strong flavour development. Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc showed crisp natural acidity and citrus fruit aromas, and Chardonnay displayed lengthy acidity and peachy flavours with citrus overtones.
So while quantity might be not as hoped, there is no compromise on quality for the region’s wines in 2015!
Henschke winery in the Barossa
The Barossa in South Australia is famous for its wine production, being one of Australia’s oldest wine regions and particularly well-known for its Shiraz and Grenache. The Henschke winery, situated in the Barossa’s Eden Valley, dates back to 1868 and is known for its quality Shiraz, Riesling and Semillon.
2015 has been almost magical for Henschke. Weather conditions were pretty ideal with a wet winter, mild spring and dry summer, resulting in fruit with particularly good acidity and a strong concentration of flavours and colours.
The January bushfires in the Adelaide Hills fortunately didn’t touch the Eden Valley region, and the cool change and rain that followed brought benefits for the drier vineyards. This was also followed by perfect mild conditions from February to April, resulting in a great vintage. The result is excellent Shiraz and Riesling from Henschke due to their flavours and fruit / acid balance.
Tyrrell’s in the Hunter Valley
Winemaking in the beautiful NSW Hunter Valley dates back to at least the 1820s. Today, there are more than 150 wineries in the region, producing a wide variety of wines including the highly regarded Semillon and also Shiraz, Chardonnay, and Verdelho.
The Hunter has been hit with a lot of rain this season, but Tyrrell’s has reported positively on Chardonnay – with the fruit displaying an optimal alcohol level as well as plenty of structure, and balanced acid and flavours.
Quite a bit of the fruit had to be left behind in the vineyards planted to Semillon, Pinot Noir and Shiraz varieties, but as a result of this fruit sorting the quality is high, even if quantities are down a bit!
Jim Barry Wines – Clare Valley
The Clare Valley in South Australia is ideal for winemaking, with its climate, geography, and rich terra rossa soils producing some of the finest wines on the market.
Unusual weather patterns in the region have led to some bumper crops this year, and also some early fruit ripenings at Jim Barry Wines due to heat waves during February. This led to earlier-than-normal pickings for Cabernet Sauvignon as they needed to be harvested quickly due to reaching a perfect tannin ripeness. Riesling grapes were picked at night to maintain the highest quality in the fruit, and the winery considers this will be a great year for its Riesling wines.
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