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From our terra rossa soil, a tradition of wine-making excellence was born.

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Coonawarra Vintage Report

Like many great wine regions of the world, Coonawarra's climate is cool and marginal. It is South Australia's southernmost wine region, positioned just 80 kilometres from the chilly southern ocean and cold Antarctic winds.

The vines are assured a long, cool ripening period that builds up the intensity of flavours slowly in the grape, creating a balanced acidity. The resulting wines will always be among Australia's finest for their richness, intensity, flavour and longevity.



Whites are regional and typical. Good acidity with early ripening. Shiraz has excellent colour - deep with a vibrant purple hue. The cool nights and warm days have been optimal for colour development. Cabernet has good varietal definition (dark cherry with some dried mint) which has been achieved at moderate sugar levels, concentrated, yet medium bodied wines have been made. In general, we are observing 2013 to be a high tannin year. The wines are more structural with framing tannins that will benefit from barrel maturation. Overall, a high quality red year in Coonawarra.


In summary, Vintage 2012 was characterised by a wet winter followed by a dry growing season with slightly above average temperatures, excepting flowering which was cool and resulted in reduced Cabernet yields. Excellent even ripening conditions and lower yields resulted in an early start to vintage.


The older Wynns vineyards on shallow and well drained terra rossa soils delivered clean and ripe fruit early due to their naturally open and low vigour canopies. Overall a cool and short ripening season, with smaller quantities made in the classical cool climate Wynns style.


This vintage was characterised by even and early ripening, with moderate yields delivering full fruit flavours and balanced ripe tannin. Some exceptional Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon were harvested from our heritage blocks.


The harvest started in mid March and did not finish until early May, with winemakers keen to allow the grapes to hang on the vines to optimise colour, flavour and tannin development. The white wines are showing excellent flavour profiles at lower alcohols. The reds are characterised by deep rich colours with Cabernet Sauvignon exhibiting good structure and varietal character and Shiraz showing rich peppery aromas and flavours. While the Merlots are exhibiting deep broody aromas and full body this season.


Excellent seasonal growing conditions and a dry summer saw an early start to vintage in 2008 with vines showing little effect from the previous years frost.Most reds were picked between late March and early April producing intense wines with great colour, rich ripe flavour and fine tannins


Despite the difficulties associated with highly variable yields and the split picking of frosted blocks, to optimise the fruit quality by excluding the second crop, the harvest progressed well producing good parcels of well structured young red wines.


Wynns Coonawarra Estate Winemaker, Sue Hodder, described the 2006 vintage as being, "very close to long term averages in temperature and rainfall, much like the 1994 and 1996 vintages. Those two vintages were particularly strong Cabernet vintages with well defined fruit flavours. Time will tell if 2006 matures as nicely as 1994 and 1996, but early indications are very promising indeed." "The Riesling and Chardonnay are very pleasing. We have elegant and varietal white wines and will bottle these early to capture freshness. The Shiraz is spicy and vibrant purple in colour. The Cabernet Sauvignon is dark, varietal and very promising. At this stage, the wines are a little subdued but the concentration is evident and time in barrel will enable the wines to soften and emerge.


2005 was an almost perfect vintage for Coonawarra with a lack of rain producing fruit that showed intensity with restraint providing the chance to make classic varietal red wines with rich flavours and generous tannins. It was an early ripening, slightly warmer than average year and as a result is characterised by darker fruit flavours, where as the 2004 vintage showed more of the red fruit spectrum.


2004 was a large vintage compared to 2003 and might have been larger had it not been for hand and machine crop thinning in mid January - prompted by large bunch numbers on the vines and a spell of cool weather. This crop thinning resulted in yields on or close to target, but a little higher than average, harvested later than normal, thanks to the cool summer.Wynns Coonawarra Estate Winemaker, Sue Hodder, rated Cabernet Sauvignon as the standout variety of 2004. "It's the best we've seen for at least six years. The wines have concentration and restraint and very long term keeping abilities."


Coonawarra experienced an excellent vintage in 2003, receiving rainfall at the right time during the growing season and benefiting from moderate temperatures. In contrast to many other regions, Coonawarra had a 5% higher rainfall than last year, much of it occurring on single days in the last weeks of January, February and March. Each rainfall invigorated the vines and maintained canopy health. Mild temperatures throughout February and March allowed the fruit to develop good flavours whilst retaining acid before warmer temperatures in the critical ripening month of April ensured a successful vintage.


Good winter rains gave Coonawarra a very good start to the season. Fruit set was excellent across all varieties, and careful vineyard management including 'green harvesting' to remove heavy crops aided in controlling yields. March rainfall delayed the harvest, but April and May were fine and mild and the fruit was picked in good condition.


Good winter rains gave Coonawarra a very good start to the season. Fruit set was excellent across all varieties, and careful vineyard management including 'green harvesting' to remove heavy crops aided in controlling yields. March rainfall delayed the harvest, but April and May were fine and mild and the fruit was picked in good condition.


Excellent quality shiraz was produced throughout Coonawarra this year and was the highlight of the vintage. Across all vineyard blocks, there was a consistency of quality that will be the hallmark of the year. Intense but very fine tannins frame ripe, spicy fruit to give wines that reflect the year and will be suited to both early drinking and cellaring.


The harvest started about two weeks early and continued in good conditions. The result was another excellent year in Coonawarra across all varieties. Sue Hodder describes the Wynns reds as "big and sturdy - very ripe with high alcohols and big tannins. They're a bit 1991-ish - wines that will need time to mellow - real cellaring wines". There will be good quantities of John Riddoch and Michael this year. Riesling is flavoursome and will be more forward, thanks to the warm summer, and chardonnay resembles the beautiful 1997 wine.


Vintage started early. It continued trouble-free, without delays, and has delivered large volumes of remarkably consistent wine. It was immediately clear that cabernet sauvignon was of wonderful quality - back to that of 1990 and 1991 - but as time went by and the wines cleaned up after fermentation, it became clear that shiraz was just as strong.


The harvest started in the week of 17 March with pinot noir and chardonnay for sparkling wine. Then a dramatic change in weather from early April brought the summer that Coonawarra had never had. After the gloom earlier in the season, the winemakers now find they have an excellent red vintage in hand. Some claim the best shiraz since 1993 and the best cabernet since 1991.