2016 Vintage promises results in the bottle
By Chief Winemaker Jodie Barton
2016 was an outstanding vintage for Aravina Estate, with exceptional fruit produced across all varieties.
Vintage commenced on the 3rd February with a hand harvest of the West block Chardonnay. The final harvest of white fruit, the Chenin Blanc was on the 24th February. A good break between the whites and the reds saw red harvesting commence on the 4th March with Shiraz and finish with the Lyre trellis Cabernet on the 25th March, just before the first of the heavy rains.
Once again Huey, the Weather God shone down on Aravina Estate. Fruit displayed good varietal spectrums, with nice ripe tannins in the reds.
All wines are maturing and progressing well, with the Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc Semillon being prepped for bottling. The 2016 Sparkling Chenin base wine is currently on fining and almost ready to be sent off for tirage and subsequent bottling. The Chardonnay and Chenin batches are safely tucked away maturing in French oak barriques following completion of ferment. All red wine batches have completed Malolactic Fermentation and are maturing in oak. The Lyre trellis Cabernet had an extended skin maceration of 28 days and the wine is looking incredibly good.
The 2016 Wildwood Ridge Chardonnay is in the honed ‘House Style’ Aravina Chardonnay, displaying vibrant fruit and juicy acidity. After nine months of maturing in a combination of French oak puncheons (500L) and barriques (225L) I expect the wine to look outstanding when it’s bottled at the end of the year.
The Chenin Blanc in my opinion is looking exceptional, with lifted fruit and lovely texture, even in its infancy.
The reds are looking fantastic and in particular viticulturist Ryan Gibbs is very excited about the Tempranillo. The fruit had a great depth of flavour supported by ripe tannins. I’ve no doubt the 2016 Cabernet will also be one of the best vintages we’ve seen in recent years. The conversion of the entire Cabernet block to cane pruned vines has provided more balanced vines and fruit with solid tannins.