The 2023 growing season was one of the most challenging of the last decade, above average winter and well above average spring rainfall falling. The well-publicised flooding through the Murray River system saw the river peak at Corowa at 8.07m on November 15th, causing severe flood damage to our Sunday Creek vineyard, and minor flood damage to our Carlyle vineyard. We lost access to the Sunday Creek vineyard from the 27th October to the 9th December, being unable to drive any vehicles or spray the vineyard during this critical time. Parts of the vineyard were completely underwater for weeks, with the vines dropping their leaves and fruit completely. Yields have been impacted accordingly, with certain blocks being 80-90% down, and other blocks 30-40% down.
The rain continued throughout December and January, until we finally received some respite from it, with no rain falling at all in February, just in the knick of time for the onset of harvest. Harvest started on the 1st March, with Rutherglen Chardonnay grapes, around 3 weeks later than usual. The harvest took some time to gain momentum, with scattered rain events and the cooler season causing many delays in picking. We started hitting our vintage straps towards the end of March and into April, with harvest looking going into May.
Quality is variable, which is indicative of the season, however there are always some gems in the cellar worth discovering. I am very pleased with the quality of my Chardonnay this vintage, it has been a real highlight, while my earlier picked parcels of Shiraz are looking very strong, as well as one outstanding parcel of Muscat, picked just before the Easter rain event.
||Made from only the free-run juice which was fined and clarified prior to fermentation. It was fermented in stainless steel tanks for 15 days at low temperatures of approximately 12 to 13º Celsius.
The wine was fined and clarified prior to bottling in early May 2023 to lock in fruitfulness and freshness.
Our 2023 Frontignac is a beautifully perfumed wine, with aromas of rose petals and citrus fruits. The palate is light and refreshing, with floral and tropical fruit flavours and a delicious hint of sweetness.