This year has been one of grand consolidation. I have decided that in the past we have had too many distractions and made too many wines. I now want to concentrate on what we do best. To this end, and I will speak in more detail below, we will no longer make Aeolia Roussanne and Cabernet Sauvignon. The 'Ergo Sum' partnership with M. Chapoutier has also been terminated.
Here at Giaconda we have planted new clones of Pinot Noir in the coolest location on the vineyard and some Nebbiolo on a wonderful new site on the other side of Beechworth at Red Hill. I have come to the conclusion that Nebbiolo probably does not best suit the granitic soils, as we have had such a good result growing it on red shale soils. The new Red Hill site offers a similar soil profile with more elevation. I hold great hopes for Nebbiolo from this site as the vines become established. We are currently aging three vintages of Nebbiolo in the cellar with the 2010 being due for release next year.
Regarding the Aeolia Roussanne, this special wine has never really been recognised by Australian wine writers but has always received spectacular reviews by some of the best International wine critics. With the export market now extremely difficult (due to the high Australian dollar) I have deceided this was the first candidate in our consolidation programme.
Another change has come about with the necessity to pull out a small block of vines from the oldest part of the vineyard, which used to be planted as Cabernet Sauvignon. This was suffering from poor drainage and the gradual ingress of Eutypa dieback. I decided ultimately it would be better to replant a small amount of Chardonnay and the balance of Pinot Noir on this part of the site. I have selected new root-stocks and clones of Pinot Noir that were missing from the previous mix. An increase in the quantity of Estate grown Pinot Noir will gradually allow me to reduce the component of Yarra Valley fruit in the current blend.
Regarding the Ergo Sum break up. We were informed last year by Michel Chapoutier that due to difficulties in Europe with the global financial crisis, his board of directors has ordered a substantial pull out of their Australian investments. Regarding the above mentioned consolidation I was not wholly displeased by this as it allows us to focus back on Giaconda. As a result, a few rows of Cabernet Sauvignon from the warmer (top part) of the vineyard are being grafted over to Shiraz. This will enable a small increase in the production of the Estate Vineyard Shiraz. With increased vine age I feel that the Estate grown Shiraz (which includes a small percentage of Viognier) is now showing the most exciting potential going forward.
2012 continues to build on the success of recent vintages. We seem to be seeing a string of cooler vintages after a long period of drought. The 2012 Chardonnay will be a great follow on from the superb vintages of 2010/11. The 2012 Pinot Noir I feel will probably be the best Pinot that has been made here at Giaconda. This wine (even at this early stage) has great complexity and depth in true Burgundian style. I feel this will develop into a spectacular wine. To cap off a truly excellent all round vintage, both Estate and Warner Vineyard Shirazes are developing great complexity in barrel.
We are not offering any 2011 Warner Vineyard Shiraz in the upcoming November release. A strong En Primeur offer from last year combined with a small vintage and standing export orders mean we don't have any more to offer the mailing list. Note that the 2011 Estate Shiraz will still be made available as we do not export this wine at present.
As a final point to this newsletter I must emphasise the 2011 Estate Vineyard Chardonnay. As a product of a very cool year this wine is absolutely spectacular. In many ways I feel the 2010 is the best and may even surpass the 1996 vintage. However, the 2011 has potential to surpass both! My advice for those who appreciate funky, old world style Burgundies - don't miss out on this one in the up coming November release.
Last but not least, concerning these Chardonnays we are pleased to announce that the 2010 Estate Vineyard Chardonnay has been awarded Jeremy Oliver's 'Wine of the Year' in The Australian Wine Annual 2013.
Regards, Rick Kinzbrunner
"This challenges Giaconda’s Chardonnay for top ranking in the stable; it has an utterly seductive mouthfeel..." James Halliday, The Weekend Australian Magazine
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