The 2016 harvest has begun at Balgownie Estate in Bendigo. The abundant sunshine has ripened the grapes and the Estate Chardonnay was handpicked over the last few days. The fruit is in excellent condition and has been harvested at 12.5° baumé, with great natural acidity. Balgownie Estate Winemaker Tony Winspear is very excited about the potential for the Estate Chardonnay for 2016 and is confident of producing a wine with great finesse, elegance and beautiful fruit character.
The first batches of chardonnay are currently being fermented using wild yeast - that is indigenous yeasts that are present in the vineyard. These yeasts add an individual character, as well as texture and complexity to the finished wine. In the coming days the fermentation will be completed and the finished wine will be racked off yeast lees and pumped into French oak barrels where it will develop over the remainder of the year.
Today Shiraz for use in our fabulous Black Label Rosé has also been picked. The grapes have been picked with the ideal balance between flavour and sweetness to produce a wine that is lovely and sweet but not cloying. This wine comes from the Triangle Vineyard in Bendigo, a well-established vineyard that consistently produces beautiful ripe shiraz grapes. As the 2015 Black Label Rosé has been such a success at our Cellar Door in the Yarra Valley and Bendigo we are increasing production and will have more of the 2016 Rosé.
The 2012 Balgownie Estate Shiraz has been released with a number of excellent reviews from Australia’s foremost wine writers.
"Good colour, a splash of vanillan/coffeed oak and a wealth of grainy, tannin-shot fruit. This is a sure contender for the cellar. Sweet, ripe blackberry and violet with mint notes at modest levels. Not exactly bright, but fresh and lively enough. Indeed, all seems in excellent order."
Drink to: 2032
Purple maroon. Squishy berries, a little haunch and some deep blackness. Seriously rich and dense nose. Powerful palate takes that meaty, purple berry fruit, a streak of vanilla oak and then soft, lingering tannins. Love the purple berry pepper, the warmth the only full stop. Finishes savoury, long and black fruited - a genuinely delicious wine and everything in its right place... Sure to get better in time though."
“A powerful, typical Bendigo red. The tannins are persuasive and the wine blossoms in the glass – and with hearty food. Great intensity and depth. It will reward cellaring. (14.5 per cent alcohol; screw cap). Ageing? Best between two and 22 years."
Food Idea: Braised steak and mushroom
Value: Very good
The vineyards in the Yarra Valley have reached veraison. This is the point where the grapes begin to change colour and the berries begin to ripen and accumulate sugar. White grapes, such as Chardonnay begin to take on their characteristic yellow/green colour while red grapes such as Pinot Noir begin to turn to a red/black colour as shown below.
Lovely mix of savoury dark purple fruits, powdery chocolate oak, a little meaty sausage spiciness and soft, fine tannins. Only medium bodied, but balances out nicely, if perhaps a little confected. (Blend of Heathcote and Bendigo fruit with a dash of Viognier)
Read more here.
The warm weather that we have experienced in the Yarra Valley along with the good rainfall has given the vines a magnificent start toward the 2016 vintage. The abundance of sun and water throughout December and January has caused an explosion of growth in the vines and the rapid development of the grape berries. The friut is looking fantastic and is developing faster than is typical, which will result in early picking in 2016.
Pinot Noir berries at Balgownie Estate Yarra Valley.