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Vintage 2014: McLaren Vale

truckRegionality is the driving force behind Two Hands Wines. It gives rise to the Garden Series, an unprecedented portfolio of Australian Shiraz consisting of a wine from each of six distinct regions. As the winery says, “One grape variety, one vintage, one winemaker – soils and climate are the only way of differentiation.” Making great wine from such disparate regions  the Barossa (Bella’s), McLaren Vale (Lily’s), Clare Valley (Samantha’s), Langhorne Creek (Harry & Edward’s), Padthaway (Sophie’s) and Heathcote (Max’s)  is a daunting but exhilarating task that gives the Two Hands team a unique perspective on wine growing in Australia each vintage. With that in mind, Winemaker Ben Perkins has put together a series of reports on the recently completed 2014 growing season. Today the focus is on McLaren Vale, about 20 miles south of Adelaide.

By Ben Perkins, Winemaker

As with the Barossa, strong winds buffeted McLaren Vale during flowering, impacting on fruit set and thus reducing yields across the region. McLaren Vale suffered the same ill effects of the heat waves, with sufficient water supply and the risk of vines shutting down becoming the major concerns. Unlike the regions to the north of Adelaide, McLaren Vale received only 30-50mm (1.2-2 inches) of rain in mid-February. The mild weather that followed was the savior.

This year’s McLaren Vale Shiraz can best be described in two halves; the first intake of the earlier-ripening sites were full of delicate flavours and mild baumes; the second Shiraz intake, around mid-March, was more classic McLaren Vale, with big, luscious fruit profiles and plenty of bold front-palate power. Quality once again looks very strong across both Shiraz and Cabernet.

See these additional posts in the Vintage Report series:

Coming up next – Vintage 2014: Heathcote

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