Rutherglen Estates Vintage Report 2005
Nicole Esdaile from Rutherglen Estates has provided the following report on the 2005 vintage. The benign seasonal conditions have obviously been welcome in the North East of Victoria as well. This relatively new winery is placing considerable emphasis on Rhone and Italian grape varieties and hence contributing to the growing vinodiversity in Australia.
2005, while only the 4th vintage of Rutherglen Estates & only my 2nd as Senior Winemaker, has been the best we have seen.
A relatively mild-cool summer & spring saw much slower flavour & tannin development & heavy rain in early February meant no irrigation was required & the resulting wines are much more refined & concentrated than we usually expect.
Our vines are now approaching 10 years of age & are much more balanced & this year quite low yielding, so it was one of the first years to get a true perspective of the potential of the RE vineyards.
Whites Marsanne & Viognier both performed very well, held their acid & produced great textural & flavoursome wines....these varieties (and we will have fruit from grafted Roussane next year) are EXTREMELY well suited to this area & I believe will, in the future make some of Australia's best wines.
Sangiovese & Nebbiolo are much improved this year....yield control & vine maturity has greatly contributed to that, but also the season. Sangiovese is probably better suited to the climate of Rutherglen than Nebbiolo, but the wines are interesting.
A sensational year for Durif...great tannins, colour, complexity & concentration at relatively low levels of alcohol for the variety.
Grenache & Mourvedre are also excellent this year, particularly Mourvedre, which is proving to be very well suited to its site here...both have great colour & concentration.
Steve De Long has announced that he is now able to dispatch the Wine Variety Table to Australia by surface mail for just $US4.99. The table and index are just $35, so check it out.