The season started off hot and early. The weather in November and December were more like our usual for February – hot and dry. Flowering was early and the grass dried to brown. Unfortunately for the holidaymakers the weather didn’t continue into January which was a little cooler and rainy. It came right again in February.
The potential crop loads in the vineyard were heavier than usual. Hence we were racing against time, in an earlier than usual season, to thin the bunches per vine down to good concentrated fruit level.
We had ordered new multi row nets and were worried that they would not arrive in time. In fact they were not here in time to cover the Pinot Noir so we reused the best of the old nets for that block.
Harvest started early with us picking Pinot Noir on 13th March (the earliest start I can remember). We then had a short pause while the unremarkable remnants of Cyclone Lusi passed over us, then it was on with the hand picks of Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.
It was April when we picked our Sauvignon Blanc, which is more in tune with a normal season. That was soon followed by a select handpick of the Riesling, very timely because after that we had 12 days of steady rain.
Now, with the just fermented wines in the winery, we are starting to feel very excited about the 2014 wines. The blending components all show good ripeness and concentration. The flavours show fruit purity and intensity and are well balanced.
We only make our top-tier Lord Rutherford wines in vintages when those varietals are of the highest standard. This year we are making a full range of Lord Rutherford wines: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. We are also for the first time ever making a delicious Pinot Rose. Watch this space!