What a vintage! The 2019 season in Margaret River was challenging; a cold winter followed by cool spring led to a slow start with budburst, almost three weeks late, and flowering didn’t kick in properly until the beginning of November, lasting almost a full month. This lead to a mixture of poor and uneven fruit set across the region – challenging for reds, but resulted in some beautiful ‘hen and chicken’ in the Gin Gin clone chardonnay and pristine flavours across whites varieties. Cool ripening conditions in December and January, including a significant rain event late January, provided more challenges with the season dragging its heals and the native Marri blossom (critical to keeping hungry native birds out of vineyards) a no show.
Out of adversity comes real gems though, and while these challenges required long walks down many vine rows early in the season, those who paid attention and put the hard yards into their vineyards, with clever canopy manipulation were well rewarded. White varieties and particularly chardonnay showed pristine flavour intensity and bright tangy natural acid retention. Red varieties were blessed with a moderate, sunny run in late March and April resulting in grapes that were physiologically ripe, deep in colour, vibrant aromatic flavours and freshness.
La Kooki’s Margaret River harvest started 28 February with pinot noir in Wilyabrup; Wallcliffe chardonnay came in on 9 March followed by Wliyabrup verdelho on 18 March. Our Tempranillo fruit sourced from Ferguson Valley in the Geographe wine region was harvested 15 March.
Cheers, Mrs Kooki