Adelaide Hills – 2013

The 2013 harvest was expected to be early, with the Easter full moon very close to the autumn equinox, and sure enough budburst started early in spring 2012 with green shoots emerging in the first week of September suggesting this would be so.

All varieties woke to a cool and mild spring, with cabernet the last to greet the sun on October 1. A snow flurry in early October led into a mild November, with warm days and nights providing excellent conditions for flowering. Set was excellent across all varieties.

Spring was conspicuous for its dryness but thankfully frost free, and as summer approached the vines developed beautifully balanced canopies and rain was just a distant memory. It was not to rain again until the end of harvest, seven dry months that produced a green drought.

As harvest time approached, it was abundantly clear that 2013 was going to be exceptional in terms of yield and quality across all varieties – a rare thing in the lofty airs of Lenswood, where weather events usually dictate terms that are best described as challenging!

Chardonnay and riesling were fabulous, as too were sauvignon blanc, gewϋrztraminer, pinot gris, merlot and cabernet. But the vintage will be defined by the pinot noir, which was developing flavours well ahead of the baume curve, requiring close attention with blocks being selectively picked four times over two weeks, chasing those elusive pinot flavours that present Turkish delight, cherries, five spice and a potpourri of herbs, with lively acids. We can look forward to elegant and long-lived pinots from the numerous parcels that came in.

Lenswood does not give up her fruit easily but every now and then she tosses a furtive glance your way and delivers the unexpected. The 2013 harvest will be remembered as near perfection in a year of snow and drought, truly a rare and exceptional vintage. Wherever your preferences lie, 2013 will reward you handsomely with power and finesse.