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dodgy Blog


welcome to the Dodgy blog 

From time to time you may find some ramblings from our winemaker here: on new release wines, seasonal updates, interesting experiences or a bee in his bonnet.  

Wes Pearson
 
12 May 2021 | Wes Pearson

End of Vintage 2021

So, it’s early May now and the 2021 harvest is in the books. Overall, it has been an excellent year for McLaren Vale Wines. It’s not always that you have great quality AND great quantities, but that was the story of 2021 in McLaren Vale. After the dismal volumes of 2020, this will be a great year for both reds and whites in the Vale. Our harvest kicked off in late Feb with our Fiano from the Lacey vineyard in the Sellicks Foothills. One day after, we harvested the Dry Creek Shiraz from the same sub region and the Shiraz for our Rosé, and in those two days we thought that we had processed half of all the grapes we’d see over the vintage. How wrong we were! Almost every vineyard we harvested fruit from provided more than our original estimates, and with two of our favourite Grenache vineyards (Smart and Wait) we were able to harvest more grapes than we have ever got before! Relatively speaking, these are still small volumes but for us this was very exciting, as the quality was truely outstanding. After that first weekend, we had a brief break between our next batch of grapes through the winery. About 9 days later we harvested Sangiovese from the Bottin vineyard (2021 will see a return of a Sangiovese dry red to the line-up), Minchella Home Block Shiraz, Wait Shiraz, Sommerville Cabernet Franc, Lennon Merlot, Pappas Grenache, Wait Grenache, Stillwell Cabernet Sauvignon, Smart Grenache, and finally, Oliver’s Touriga Nacional for some vintage fortified. Overall, Dodgy Brothers Wines crushed nearly 30 tonnes of grapes this year – the second most we have ever processed!

So now that things have slowed down a little, we can begin to clean these wines up and get them ready for their winter sleep, while also turning our attention to the 2020 reds as we begin to prepare them for bottling. We’ll also be bottling the 2021 Fiano and Rosé at the same time, so they’ll need some attention as well.

To sum up the vintage, I’d have to say that I haven’t been this excited about a vintage in a very long time. I can’t wait to share these wines with you. you’ll need to have a little patience though, as they won’t see the inside of a bottle till June/July 2022 and will be looking at a August 22 release date.

Time Posted: 12/05/2021 at 3:32 PM Permalink to End of Vintage 2021 Permalink
Wes Pearson
 
12 March 2021 | Wes Pearson

2021 Vintage Progress

2021 Vintage Progress

We find ourselves about ½ way through the 2021 vintage at this point. So far, I think it would be fair to say that we are in the midst of an excellent vintage. The growing season this year has been different to the last few that we have seen here in McLaren Vale. The winter brought us some good rainfall – something that we haven’t seen in a few years. This set up a good fruit set on the vines in the spring, with moderate and calm weather allowing for proper flowering and fruit set. The summer season brought us what can best be described as moderate temperatures, with only one prolonged hot stretch, but even that was mild by previous years’ standards. The result is a crop of quality and quantity. For grapegrowers and winemakers, this is a welcome result after a couple years of poor yields. One of the interesting characteristics of the fruit this vintage is intense colours and flavour development, al lower ripeness levels. I would attribute this to the many cool nights that we have had over the ripening period – more so than usual from my experience. This has allowed for a very measured and consistent development of colour and flavour in the grapes. So far, the resulting wines have bright, vibrant, and deep colour, with balanced acidity and incredible flavour concentration. It’s a bit of a cliché, but they say great wines are made in the vineyard, and that is certainly the case this year. You know it’s going to be a great season when the grapes arrive at the winery and you don’t have to do anything to them. I always refer to myself as a babysitter, I’m just there to guide the grapes and try to just stay out of the way. Some years that’s easier to do than others, and this is one of those years.

Time Posted: 12/03/2021 at 3:24 PM Permalink to 2021 Vintage Progress Permalink
Wes Pearson
 
11 December 2020 | Wes Pearson

We can reflect

We can reflect

Now that the 2019 red and 2020 Fiano are in bottle, we can reflect a little bit on what they actually deliver and how they compare to previous wines and vintages. 2019 was generally speaking a pretty good year. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was a great vintage, but it was pretty good. I’d say similar to maybe 2015 and 2013. The one hiccup in 2019 was a prolonged heat spell late January that affected some of the fruit in some of the region, depending on variety and maturity. Looking back I definitely saw this heat wave manifest itself in the quality of the Fiano grapes when they were harvested, and to some of the other Shiraz sites that we harvest a bit earlier. The cooler Shiraz sites and the Grenache were relatively unharmed by the heat, as they were still immature at that point and just shook it off. That’s good news for most of our wines, as (other than the Fiano which comes from only one source) all our wines are made of multiple vineyards, and the cooler Vale sites really shone in 2019. Our two Blewitt Springs Shiraz vineyards and Grenache from Clarendon and Blewitt as well all excelled in 2019. The 2020 Fiano was a breeze, with the grapes coming into the winery at the perfect ripeness and maturity. The only problem with 2020 was that there wasn’t any crop! Overall the 2020 vintage is excellent quality wise, but it’s terrible quantity wise. Our reds will be in short supply, but for now we have 120 cases of the 2020 Fiano ready to go and couldn’t be happier with the quality.

Time Posted: 11/12/2020 at 3:20 PM Permalink to We can reflect Permalink
Wes Pearson
 
13 November 2020 | Wes Pearson

2019 Red Wine and 2020 Fiano

2019 Red Wine and 2020 Fiano

2019 was generally speaking a pretty good year. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was a great vintage, but it was pretty good. I’d say similar to maybe 2015 and 2013. The one hiccup in 2019 was a prolonged heat spell late January that affected some of the fruit in some of the region, depending on variety and maturity. Looking back I definitely saw this heat wave manifest itself in the quality of the Fiano grapes when they were harvested, and to some of the other Shiraz sites that we harvest a bit earlier. The cooler Shiraz sites and the Grenache were relatively unharmed by the heat, as they were still immature at that point and just shook it off. That’s good news for most of our wines, as (other than the Fiano which comes from only one source) all our wines are made of multiple vineyards, and the cooler Vale sites really shone in 2019. Our two Blewitt Springs Shiraz vineyards and Grenache from Clarendon and Blewitt as well all excelled in 2019. The 2020 Fiano was a breeze, with the grapes coming into the winery at the perfect ripeness and maturity. The only problem with 2020 was that there wasn’t any crop! Overall the 2020 vintage is excellent quality wise, but it’s terrible quantity wise. Our reds will be in short supply, but for now we have 120 cases of the 2020 Fiano ready to go and couldn’t be happier with the quality.  

Time Posted: 13/11/2020 at 10:25 AM Permalink to 2019 Red Wine and 2020 Fiano Permalink
 

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