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Fraser Gallop Estate

Katherine Lethlean
2 April 2020 | Katherine Lethlean

Vintage 2020 - Update from our winemaker Clive Otto

Sometimes if feels hard to imagine that outside the Covid-19 world there are good news stories, that nature continues to work its magic, and work carries on in the fresh air of the vineyard. But it does, and our winemaking team are reporting this year's vintage will produce wines that "give Bordeaux a run for its money."

"In the fourteen years I've been making wine for Fraser Gallop Estate, I've only seen fruit of this quality once," says winemaker Clive Otto, "and that went into the 2007 Parterre Cabernet Sauvignon. And that won the Decanter World Wine Awards for best Bordeaux blend."

This year's vintage was completed on March 9, just five busy weeks. "In most years our harvest period spans eight weeks so this was a short and sweet vintage to say the least" says Clive.

"The quality of the wines is extraordinary across the range. The conditions in the lead up to the harvest led to a small vintage for sure be we are so happy with the quality of the fruit. A spring jail storm combined with strong winds caused considerable damage to the young canes followed by an early bud burst due to the warm dry winter. The hot dry summer resulted in considerably smaller than average berry size. Overall yields are down by a third however we can say quality on the other hand is UP by a third."

"The Chardonnays are sensational with vibrant acidities, immense intensity of citrus, white stone fruit and pear flavours and  great balance. The Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blends look great with more lemon -citrus notes and riper flavour profiles than we saw in 2019.

"The ultra-pale Rose is looking amazing like last year’s and eminently drinkable. Likewise, says Otto, the Ice Pressed Chardonnay is "right up there" with the best the Estate has produced.

"The Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends look incredible with the darkest most intense colours we’ve seen ever all thanks to the smallest berries we’ve seen. The tannin levels are high this year due to the thicker skins. The reds are looking fresh and vibrant as we didn’t allow the grapes to desiccate to raisins in the hotter than normal vintage and picked them earlier to retain freshness and the wines look better for it.

These will be incredibly long term cellaring wines that will give Bordeaux a run for its money."

The next few weeks will be spent plunging, pumping over, pressing and putting these wines to bed in high quality French Oak barriques for an 18 month maturation period in our cool barrel hall and the magnificence of these incredible 2020 Red wines will be then revealed to all.


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