Harvest Report 2018 - Whites

 
 Image: Courtesy of Vasse Felix. 

Image: Courtesy of Vasse Felix. 

WHY A HARVEST REPORT?

We like to get the scoop on all things wine related as they happen, so we asked around some of our favourite winemakers for their thoughts on the 2018 harvest, so far.  Most of the whites (barring late picked varieties) have already been picked, and depending on where you are, reds are either done, underway, or yet to happen.  So here’s what’s happening so far…

BUYING GUIDE FOR 2018 WINES:

Whites will be on the market in as soon as a couple of months’ time, so be on the look-out for riesling, sauvignon blanc blends, Roses and any ‘drink now’ wines (they won’t have any time to sit on lees or in oak so these guys are fressssshhhh).  2018 was so good you can buy whites with abandon.  Pay particular attention to Margaret River chardonnay (by all accounts, 2018 was a STUNNING vintage), Pemberton pinot, Frankland River shiraz, and Swan Valley grenache.  Basically, you can go forth and buy what you like with perfect confidence – 2018 was stellar.

 
vvvvas.JPG

“Barring any major rainfall between now and the end of April, [vintage 2018] looks phenomenal, everywhere”

Swan Valley

“Swan has had a very good year – whites are ripe, bright and flavoursome. Shiraz is the best I’ve ever seen!”

Ross Pamment, Senior Winemaker, Houghton

“It's certainly looking like the reds are going to be outstanding and the whites are going to be even more outstanding”

Yuri Berns, President of the Swan Valley and Regional Winemakers Association

Margaret River

“…Chardonnay has been exceptional this year”

Vasse Felix Estate Sommelier, Evan

“…looks great so far: bright acids, aromatic, and good flavours. it will be a great year for Margaret River chardonnays”

Ross Pamment, Senior Winemaker, Houghton

“…wines of power”

Vasse Felix Estate Sommelier, Evan

“Aromatically fresh fruited, sweet scented, ethereal”

Yuri Berns, Assistant Winemaker, Sittella

Pemberton

“…one of the best vintages so far”

Dan Pannell, Picardy Wines, Pemberton

“Pemberton is looking the goods”

Ross Pamment, Senior Winemaker, Houghton

Great Southern

“Shiraz in Frankland is looking awesome”

Ross Pamment, Senior Winemaker, Houghton

Want to know a bit more?

At Vasse:

“In late February, we picked the last of the Home Vineyard Chardonnay, with some fruit still to come from our Gnarawary and Karridale vineyards. Although yields have been down, the quality of Chardonnay has been exceptional this year, with the combination of slightly higher sugar and strong acidity promising to deliver wines of power.”

Chardonnay yields are down across the Margaret River region (this is not isolated to Vasse), but as reported by many, the quality is exceptional.

Swan Valley:

Yuri Berns, President of the Swan Valley and Regional Winemakers Association and winemaker at Sittella said of V18 in the Swan Valley “It's certainly looking like the reds are going to be outstanding and the whites are going to be even more outstanding because … white grapes have been able to retain natural acids because it's been so cool. With your cooler temperatures, you get better colour development in red wines, so you get more accumulation of colour, you get deeper colour red wines and much softer tannins."

“This year the acids are naturally high – you’d expect it from Margs, but not from the Swan.”

“Aromatically fresh fruited, sweet-scented, ethereal.”

Ross Pamment, Senior winemaker, Houghton:

“[2018 is] shaping up to be an excellent year so far. Swan has had a very good year – whites are ripe, bright and flavoursome. Shiraz is the best I have ever seen! [We are] on the tail end of finishing Margaret River whites presently, and looks great so far: bright acids, aromatic, and good flavours. It will be a great year for Margaret River Chardonnays. And Pemberton is looking the goods too. If you ask the Picardy crew, I reckon they may call it the best vintage yet! Just about to start south west reds and they’re shaping up well too. Shiraz in Frankland is looking awesome. Probably start picking next week. A possibility we will be done around Easter, or more likely the week after with regard to Jack Mann fruit.”

Pemberton:

Dan Pannell, of Picardy wines, said vintage 2018 is “looking like one of the best vintages so far, especially for pinot.”

Frankland River: 

Grower and producer Matt Swinney posted this photograph on Instagram with this message: "How I'm feeling about fruit quality this vintage... just sayin', that's all. #dancingwithmyself."

 
dancingg.png