Happy new year to you all. Now that we are firmly into 2013, I’d thought a few words reflecting on 2012 might be worthwhile.
The year started with plenty of rain following a very wet 2011 calendar year. It had us a little nervous as we kept getting closer to the harvest – mother nature is like that, she never really tells you what she is going to do. Fortunately, she was kind and the closer we got to the harvest the drier the weather become. In the end we had a glorious and warm Indian summer that really made the vintage. There are some very smart wines that are about to hit the market including the Mountain Range white wines (chardonnay, sauvignon blanc & pinot gris). The reds look pretty smart as well and will be bottled in late-February. The 2012 vintage will also see the return of the Swift Family Heritage flagship wine after missing out on 2011. And there are some special bottlings to come out of the vintage as well – but more of that later in the year.
One of the real highlights was the launch of the Swift Sparkling brand in October. This is a project we have been working on for a couple of years and it was great to finally release some sparkling wines for everyone to enjoy. This has been an incredibly exciting project to work on. It has involved a couple of trips to Champagne (always good fun), testing yourself with producing a different style of wine (one with bubbles). It takes time and patience. The first Swift sparkling wines are from the 2010 vintage. We have dedicated the Swift brand to sparkling wines only rather than releasing them as Printhie wines. Distribution deals are being put in place and samples have been sent to the trade and wine media, so hopefully you will see them popping up around town soon.
Printhie had some terrific critical appraisals this year with some great wine reviews. James Halliday awarded us a 5 star rating for the fifth year in a row and awarded the 2010 Mt Canobolas Collection Shiraz a whopping 96 points, which put it in the Best of the Best Shiraz category. To be judged as producing one of the best Shiraz’s in Australia, given that Shiraz is Australia’s most famous and widely produced varietal was pretty pleasing. There was some good wine show success as well. The highlight was the 2011 Mt Canoblas Collection (MCC) Shiraz picking up a double trophy at the Orange Wine Show for Best Shiraz and Best Red Wine.
As the vines sprouted new growth in spring to signal the start of another growing season, the skies dried up and we have had just a meagre 45mm of rain since budburst. Fortunately we had good sub-soil moisture so the vines have produce a plentiful canopy to ripen the crop. However, the amount of grapes on the vine are looking pretty small. I think we are headed into a classic dry year vintage – a bit like 2010 – small crop, high quality. At least this year we are getting a proper summer. We haven’t had one of those for a few years.
Look out for our vintage 2013 updates here on our website or follow us on Twitter @PrinthieWines and follow the #V13 hashtag.