The region has a Mediterranean climate with wet winters, dry summers and plenty of sunshine. The proximity to St Vincent Gulf, coincidentally named after the patron saint of winemakers, benefits fruit quality with warmer spring and autumn conditions and cooler summers. McLaren Vale is renowned as a premium wine region of great beauty that consistently produces high quality, richly flavoured wines.
Vibrant purple-red in colour. Pretty primary aromas of blackberry and sweet summer strawberries lift from the glass, along with notes of chocolate and roasted coffee beans. Red and black berry flavours
overflow the medium to full bodied palate and are focused into the long finish by fine fruit and oak
Winter in 2015 was relatively dry and although totals ended up near normal, there were few heavy soaking rains. Spring was exceptionally dry, resulting in low disease pressure but requiring early irrigation to ensure balanced canopies. October and December were hot and November warm and ideal for flowering and fruit set. Crop levels were the best for several years but generally just a return to more balanced and sustainable levels. An early bud burst and the dry warm conditions always meant vintage was going to be early. Even with bigger crops vintage started around the same time as 2015’s record early start.
We picked Semillon from the Davey Estate Vineyard on January 29 and had completed our McLaren Vale Chardonnay by February 8 and Pinot Noir and Shiraz for Rosé on February 10. Timely rain events in early February refreshed the vines, greatly reducing the stresses of the dry season, with no adverse disease effects except for in some tighter bunch Grenache blocks. February days were mild and the nights cool,
slowing down sugar accumulation and extending the ripening period greatly, enhancing flavour, structure and colour development.
Reds started with Shiraz on February 11 and the last of the Davey Estate Shiraz was picked on March 11. The last of the Cabernet and the Mataro were picked on March 24. The early picked wines show bright and fragrant fruit at balanced alcohol levels. Intensity, weight and depth of colour just kept increasing as the harvest progressed, without any over ripe characters, resulting in simply spectacular wines across all varieties.
VINEYARD SOURCE : Davey Estate, McLaren Vale Friends and Neighbours, McLaren Vale,
Cabernet Sauvignon : 90% ,
Cabernet Franc : 5% ,
Shiraz : 5%,
Alcohol : 14.0% ,
pH : 3.66,
TA : 6.8 g/L,