Vintage 2014: Langhorne Creek
Regionality 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 Langhorne Creek, 40 miles southeast of Adelaide.
Good winter and early spring rainfall with some traditional flooding of the Bremer River provided the vines with some much-needed deep soil moisture, but Langhorne Creek was not spared the issues that afflicted much of the state during the early growing season. Strong winds during flowering and sporadic frosts caused yields to be slightly reduced. Langhorne Creek seemed to escape the worst of the January/February heatwave as the high temperatures were tempered by cooling afternoon breezes off Lake Alexandrina. Most of the heavy February rainfall passed north of the region, but the 20-30mm (0.8-1.2 inches) that did fall reinvigorated the vines. The cooler weather patterns that followed led to near perfect ripening conditions. The Shiraz was picked on March 20, slightly later than normal. At first assessment, quality is very high.
See these posts in the Vintage Report series: