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Mudgee experienced one of the driest growing seasons on record with only 30ml of rain recorded from September through to February.
Robert Stein Winery viticulturist and winemaker Jacob Stein said dry grown sites struggled to get canopy and good crop load and even irrigated sites had just enough water to meet the demand of the warm summer.
Crop yields have been low across most varieties, however quality was excellent across most varieties.
Mudgee has undergone much change in the past three years, moving to near 80 per cent of fruit going into Mudgee labelled wines, so now quality is the major concern for the regions vignerons, he said.
Aromatic white varieties are very good, expressing good varietal character, albeit with lower than normal acid levels.
Chardonnay was also very good, showing good concentration and flavour.
He said Shiraz could possibly be the star of 2014 with good colour, excellent fruit concentration and typical Mudgee tannin balance considering the dry, hot year the region experienced.
Italian and Spanish varietals were much bigger wines than normal and Merlot was also good with big, rich fruit and concentrated tannins.
From a winemaking perspective, Stein said balancing pH and TA’s were a challenge with plenty of acid being added to the wine.
Post-alcoholic fermentation, the wines were clean, very good and we look forward to seeing this vintage through to bottle.