Sarah's Vintage report - V18POSTED 12.02.2018
The Adelaide Hills has enjoyed a rebirth of sorts over the last 2 decades, and as a region it has taken advantage of its perceived youth by avoiding the influence of expectation. It has instead cemented itself as a vibrant, cool climate, freestyling wonderland that remains unrestricted by varietal choice and style. Winemakers are being celebrated for their individual and non-rigid interpretation of the region. From this creative freedom has emerged a seemingly endless range of quality wines that whilst freakishly different in style, all reflect the essence of this cool climate wine region.
We have the Adelaide Hills Wine Region covered from top to bottom! Our determination to create thought provoking wines that showcase the nuances of specific varieties in various locations, has led to the careful selection of 6 vineyard sites that span the entirety of the region.
Kersbrook is home to our most northern vineyard site and is situated 10km from the edge of the Barossa Valley. Being lower in elevation, makes this is our warmest site, ideal for producing grapes with great fruit depth and soft tannins. 2018 will see the release of a small, handcrafted batch of fleshy, soft Barbera from Kersbrook – one to look out for come September.
Close by is our Forreston vineyard, which enjoys a similar climate and slightly higher elevation, making it ideal for growing Pinot Noir that is rich in strawberry aromatics, perfect for our Rose. We harvest two clones of Pinot Noir form this site adding to the complexity of red berry flavours.
Heading further south and hugging the Eastern boundary of the AH wine region is Springhead - home to half of our premium Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris grapes. This site is unusually elevated for this area of the hills and temperatures drop off quickly at the end of a warm day making it ideal for both varieties. Grapes exude varietal depth, freshness and structure.
With an impressive elevation of 570m, our vineyard in Piccadilly really feels the cold! Pinot Noir from this site enjoys a long, slow ripening period which results in excellent colour development, elegant tannins and seductive aromatics. When both the Forreston and Piccadilly Pinot Noir parcels are blended together, the results are incredibly complimentary.
There is a strong belief amongst grape growers that the best fruit the region comes from vineyards surrounded by Stringybark gums, making our Meadows vineyard and the Shiraz grown there, all the more special! Located on the southwest border, nestled close to McLaren Vale, this vineyard is surprisingly cool given it elevation. The Shiraz from this area of the hills is distinctively peppery, with fresh raspberry, inky black colour and has some of the most elegant tannins going around.
Reknown for its temperature extremes, with warms days and very cool nights, our Macclesfield vineyard ticks all the boxes for maximizing the quality potential of both Pinot Gris and Shiraz. Fruit is intensely varietal, with great depth and impressive length. Both parcels are critical to the overall blends.
V18 is shaping up to be a cracker. A milder summer means a longer growing season which results in wines with enhanced aromatics, excellent acid balance and in the case of reds, extraordinary colour. Yields are solid and canopies are looking exceptionally lush. Our harvest will kick off around mid February in Forreston with the Pinot Noir just starting to colour up and assuming the rain stays away, the last of the reds should be fermenting away before the end of April. Now we wait for the fun to begin!