Vintage Reports

The Yarra Valley is known as a Cool Climate region with dominant rainfall in winter/spring and a relatively cool, dry, summer. Cool Climate regions are typically known for producing wines with intense varietal characteristics due to the long, slow ripening periods.

Generally speaking each vintage in the Yarra Valley is a good one, however they do have their own challenges. 

There are key elements at play to produce quality wines each year which include sourcing fruit from different vineyards across the region and only sourcing fruit from well managed vineyards, which regardless of weather conditions consistently produce fruit of a high quality.

2017 – Traditional Harvest

Traditional Conditions

In contrast to the warm and compact growing season of 2016, Vintage 2017 saw a return to more traditional conditions.

Blue Skies

A cool and wet spring delayed budburst and flowering and consequently we had a later start to harvest in early March. Some truly ideal weather followed with about three to four weeks of blue skies and temperatures in the high 20’s with no heat spikes.

Cool Nights

The even temperatures, cool nights and long ripening period provided us with some excellent fruit across all varieties.

2016 – Short and Sweet

Compact

Vintage 2016 will be long remembered as the most compact growing season in living memory.

Warm Spring

A warm Spring was followed by a warmer than average Summer but luckily we were spared from suffering through too many extreme over-40 degree spikes during the ripening period.

Cool Nights

The effect of this weather forced an acceleration of ripening but also a retention of fresh acidity due to the cool nights. It’s not surprising then to see ripe, generous characters on the 2016 wines.

2015 – A real Humdinger

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Vineyards

Vintage 2015 in the Yarra Valley proved to be one of the strongest in the past 25 years. We significantly increased our fruit intake to twenty two different vineyards across all sub-regions of the Valley.

Mild Spring

Spring was mild, allowing excellent fruit set and quality and vintage was cool and dry with perfect ripening and crop levels 10-20% above the average.

Benchmark Year

The remarkable varietal flavours with balanced natural acidity were evident across all vineyard sites and will see the 2015 vintage as a benchmark year in the Yarra Valley.

2014 – Good Things, Small Packages

Warm, Dry

Much like 2013, 2014 was also a warm, dry vintage in the Yarra Valley. Significantly reduced yields due to poor fruit set in spring resulted in lighter bunch weights.

-80%

Crop levels (%)

Crop levels in some situations were down by 80% compared to the average for varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, all other varieties also had reduced yields of varying percentages.

Exceptional quality

Overall 2014 yields were down by 60% against original budgeted expectations. In saying that, the quality of the fruit was exceptional across all varieties.

2013 – Excellent Fruit Flavours, Structure & Length

Warm, Dry

2013 was a warm, dry vintage in the Yarra Valley. Thankfully healthy winter rains meant the vineyards were prepared for any hot spells throughout the growing season.

Full-bodied Flavours

The main challenge was finding space in the winery because several varieties ripened at the same time. Fruit flavours were excellent and slightly more full-bodied than the 2012’s.

Excellent Structure

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are beautiful wines with balanced acidity and plenty of flavour. Dry reds look fantastic with excellent structure and length.

2012 – A Benchmark Yarra Valley Vintage

Wet Spring

2012 was a benchmark vintage in the Yarra Valley although yields were approximately 40% down throughout the region. A wet spring made for challenging growing conditions in the early part of the season as Growers worked hard to stay on top of disease pressures.

Outstanding Conditions

Overall conditions were warm but the region managed to avoid the extreme heat experienced in 2009. Harvest started 2-3 weeks earlier than normal with all varieties showing good flavour development and solid yields.

2011 – No Rob Dolan Wines were produced this vintage

2010 – Good Flavour Development & Solid Yields

High Soil Moisture

2010 was a warmer than average vintage in the Yarra Valley. The season started with good fruit set but unlike the previous years of drought there were occasional rain events that kept soil moisture relatively high throughout the season.

Early Harvest

The remainder of the growing season was outstanding with periodic rain events and ideal growing conditions. Fruit ripened beautifully with good flavour and acid balance. Classic Indian summer conditions saw a warm spell toward the end of April that allowed the later ripening varieties to ripen perfectly.