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Vintage Report Details
2011 vintage report for McLaren Vale (South Australia)
Supplied by Jodie Pain, viticulture coordinator, McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association
Growing season: A wet and cool season resulted in disease pressures impacting to different degrees across the region. Management of powdery mildew was critical, and there was some early powdery mildew pressure on blocks that did not have the required frequency of sulfur spray. Fruit with powdery mildew tended to be weakened and be more susceptible to botrytis. Later harvested Shiraz was threatened by loss from botrytis.
Vintage: Vintage went against the recent trend that began in the mid 2000s of earlier budburst, flowering and harvest with vintage starting about three weeks later than average, though ended up finishing about the same time as normal, with the increased requirements to harvest fruit due to disease pressure and the warmer conditions very late in the season.
Yields and quality: Stylistically, the 2011 season was not a typical McLaren Vale year, with lower Baumes and strong flavour development. However, some of the fruit from the early Shiraz, Chardonnay and Cabernet blocks are of exceptional quality. The increase in rainfall resulted in larger-than-average bunch weights across all varieties, resulting in an approximate increase of 20% on average yields. Quantities of Cabernet and Grenache, in particular, were above average with quantities of Shiraz about average. A variable, but slightly above average tonnage for white varieties was also seen across the region.