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Vintage Report 2018, by Mike Garland

25 May 2018 by Alyce Thompson

As the winery is filled with intense aromas of rich blackcurrant, whilst pressing off our best Cabernet block, it’s time to reflect on yet another cracking vintage in the Great Southern.

I know it sounds like a bit of a cliché or marketing spin but the 2018 vintage really was one of the best we’ve ever seen – with some tricky times over the past couple of vintages (albeit good results) it was pleasing to see a ‘perfect’ season unfold.

With steady rainfall over the July – September period (460mm), allowing adequate soil moisture, the vines got off to a good start with ample spring growth providing a strong, balanced canopy for the warmer months. Crop levels across the board were at optimum levels, much lower than 2017, reducing the need for dropping of fruit to achieve adequate ripeness. A very dry, mild October and November meant for excellent conditions over flowering – very even and consistent. With this dry period causing some concern amongst Vignerons it was almost as is the rain-gods were listening. A healthy drop of rain (50mm) during December allowed the canopies to be working at full capacity and build some resilience for the summer months ahead. The summer temperatures were mild (averaging 21-23°C) and sunny, absolutely perfect for cool climate viticulture. Slow, even fruit development with great acid retention.

Vintage started on the 15th February with the intake of all our sparkling varieties (Chardonnay and Pinot), closely followed a week later with the influx of Riesling. Acid retention and crisp ripe flavours were underlying features of this year’s Riesling fruit; with virtually no disease or bird pressure picking was based purely on flavour development. Early March saw the harvest of Chardonnay and Pinot for table wine and as with the Riesling harvest we were able to pick all at optimal condition and ripeness; we were lucky to secure some excellent Porongurup Riesling and Pinot this year – so something to look out for.

I think you will get the gist of vintage this year – with the various varieties all behaving and ripening as they should we were able maintain some degree of order this year (which is very unusual at vintage!). As if almost on queue – once the Chardonnay and Pinots had been safely picked and fermented it simply cruised on to the picking of Shiraz at the end of March and then just as we pressed out the Shiraz, it was time for Cabernet to come in. 2018 will be a simply stunning year for reds. The balance of ripeness, tannins, colour, acidity and of course flavour is truly amazing and it will be great to see how these develop. Lots of interesting stuff out there, like some bush vine Tempranillo and Rhone clone Shiraz (470&174), but it will be the usual big-guns of Acacia Shiraz and Riversdale Cabernet (and Shiraz) that will no doubt be the pick of the bunch.

It was also pleasing to see the quality of the Chardonnay and Pinot off the home block this year and seeing what this site has to offer – the Chardonnay in particular was stunning (Il Liris ’18 looking great).

Anyway, only 3 more press loads to go – then maybe time for a beer (or two) and reflect on another stunning vintage.


Gourmet Traveller WINE – Best Cellar Door!

23 March 2018 by Alyce Thompson

We’re excited to share that our Cellar Door has been awarded ‘Best Large Cellar Door’ in the Great Southern by Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine the second time! Congratulations to Annette, David & the hardworking team for making this happen!


Introducing ‘Uno’, a very special Pinot Noir

23 February 2018 by Alyce Thompson

Our first ever single barrel wine, Uno, is a special release that deserved its own bottling!

This is a very unique bottling – being barrel fermented and 100% new oak, this serious Pinotphiles Pinot is looking stunning now and will continue to integrate with the oak for many years. Uno is sealed under glass Vinolok then waxed for extra protection from oxygen. With only 30 dozen produced and excellent reviews coming in already (see below from Steve’s Wine Bar) we are not expecting this release to hang around long.

‘What a beautiful wine! I wasn’t going to post another Pinot after Youen’s Gevrey last week, but after tasting this yesterday I couldn’t help it. I was, for once speechless.

Grown on Castelli’ home block in Denmark this Pinot Noir is second to none. The old favourite clone 777 and Morey St. Denis’ very own 114 are crafted beautifully in this wine, fermented in a single new oak barrel with 50% whole bunches, it is bottled unfined and unfiltered.

On opening the toasty oak hit like a train not dissimilar to young Burgundian Grand Cru, but soon settled to what Allen Meadows would call ‘deft use of oak’.

Bright juicy red fruits, Asian spice and aromatic herbs litter the palate with darker fruits brooding underneath waiting a few more birthdays to fully show themselves. The acid line is like a razor and impeccably balanced.’

NAME OF LICENSEE: CASTELLI ESTATE PTY LTD & MT SHADFORTH CONTRACT CRUSH PTY LTD | LICENCE NUMBER: 6180119603 CLASS OF LICENCE: PRODUCER | PREMISES DETAILS: 380 MOUNT SHADFORTH ROAD, SHADFORTH DENMARK WA 6333 | PH +61 8 9848 3832

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