Each vintage brings with it a unique set of characteristics that change the nature of the wine – and that's the beauty of wine. Our vintage reports will give you a unique insight into how that glass of Wakefield wine you're enjoying came to fruition.
The growing season in the lead up to vintage 2013 saw below average autumn and winter rainfalls on the Taylor family Clare Valley estate vineyards. In fact, over the entire season from September 2012 to April 2013 the rainfall was the lowest on record at the Estate since 1973 at only 138mm. This is 40mm below the previously driest season of 2003/04 and 50% below average. In addition, during winter, the average daily minimum temperature at the Estate was 1.1°C warmer than average, although budburst did occur at the normal time in early September. The dry and somewhat difficult conditions, resulting in lower yields from the season mean that the wines produced are quite full-bodied. Overall, after the great years of 2009, 2010 & 2012, the 2013 vintage will deliver very rich, concentrated wines which will be true to the Wakefield style of early approach-ability and generous enjoyment.
The 2012 vintage at the Taylor family estate in the Clare Valley was truly a special one as it was our 40th! Vintage officially commenced on the 225th January with the harvesting of Pinot Noir for sparkling wine base. The next week, we picked some Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Chardonnay. By the end of February, we had harvested all the white varieties from the estate. The fruit looked excellent; clean and fresh with good varietal expression. If we have anything to complain about it would be that yields were slightly down on our predictions. By March we were full steam ahead and well and truly into the thick of things. No matter how many you do, it’s always a very exciting time! With the last of the fruit picked just after Easter, the harvest had officially ended with many excited reports from both vineyard and winemaking about the quality of the fruit from this year.
The growing season leading up to vintage in the Clare Valley commenced with above average winter/spring rainfall which filled profiles in the soil to saturation points not seen in the past three seasons. During flowering in November an unprecedented heat wave occurred; the Clare Valley experienced 13 consecutive days above 30°C. This heat-wave coincided with the peak of vine flowering, which resulted in reduced yields across almost all varieties at harvest. The stand-out wines from this vintage are sure to be Riesling – which is displaying pure focused fruit and a linear acid line and Shiraz which is expressive of the region.
Vintage 2011 will surely go down in the history books as one to remember! With rain being the main issue (and the associated diseases that occur in those humid conditions) and the corresponding protracted ripening period, this was certainly a vintage that separated the pack. However, despite any pessimism surrounding this vintage, we are very happy with the overall quality of our wines. Of our white wines, both the Riesling and Pinot Gris look particularly outstanding, whilst out of the red varieties, the Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon look particularly promising.