In wine circles across the county, there is always a busied murmur in the early few months of the year, that is, if you live anywhere near a wine producing regions...
Vintage. “How was it?” what does that mean exactly? It’s the year in which the fruit, or grapes in our instance, are physically picked. The wine (label) will then have this noted, with certain requirements around the % of the wine (inside each bottle) needing to be at least 85% of that claimed year. Hence, sometimes you get the non-vintage wine labels, or multi-vintage wine labels…But, to answer the question further, vintage (or sometimes called harvest) is the specific time: months, weeks, days, and hours of long, hard, physical labour to get these juicy berries off the vines. It doesn’t stop there. They’re then quickly processed in a huge variety of ways, which contributes to how the final, finished wines are presented. A bottle of wine is very special. It’s a little snapshot of that year, that fruit, the soil, a raw and true expression of the terroir.
One very special year for the region, was 2014. The stars aligned perfectly for one grape variety: shiraz. A combination of many positive environmental factors, alongside vine health, growing conditions (rain and humidity not being an issue this year!), picking conditions, yield, quality of grapes…and many other factors, 2014 was one to write home about. So much so, we made four different single vineyard shiraz.
The Cote d’Or Shiraz, the Gundagai Shiraz, the Epic Shiraz, and our estate, Hunter Valley Shiraz. All attracting multiple gold medals around the country in various wine shows and with reviewers – “‘14 was the greatest Hunter Valley vintage for shiraz since '65.” James Halliday, for Halliday Wine Companion.
With our 2014’s still safely tucked away – except for very limited amounts offered to our members, and for those who visit the cellar door; it’s a good idea to get in touch now if you wanted to secure some ‘14 gold.
Keep track of the ‘favourable’ vintages where your favourite wines come from. Make notes on the bottles (or your spreadsheet) if you’re lucky enough to secure those when they become available. For us, 2014 was simply a masterpiece and we cannot wait for you to try them out for yourself, when the time comes.