Eden Valley – 2012

The La NiƱa pattern weakened during the lead-up to the 2012 vintage, resulting in below average winter and spring rainfall. July was the driest since the serious drought of 2003. Spring was mild with few frost events; however, flowering and fruit set were affected by wet drizzly weather in mid to late November, leading to only average yields. Summer was also surprisingly mild with below average temperatures from southerlies off the ocean in January and only two short heat events, at New Year and at the end of February. This provided for a slow ripening period, which allowed for intense fruit flavours, high colour figures, high acidity and mature tannins. Rainfall leading up to vintage was above average, with the heaviest rainfall events in late January and late February, which tied in well with the natural physiology of the dry-grown vines; ie, keeping leaves active at veraison and ripening. Temperatures were mild during harvest though March, warming to an Indian summer in April, allowing for a long window of picking and amazing maturities with the red varieties. Standout varieties are riesling, showing delightful aromatics, purity, intensity, excellent acidity and length of flavour, and shiraz, showing great purity and spice, colour intensity and strikingly mature tannins. Yields were average with exceptional overall quality.