Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Day 12 of Clare Valley Vintage - Tempranillo emerging

Published:  23 July, 2008

G'day Folks. Well it's official - sleep deprivation is a form of torture and a working vintage is no exception.

After an intensive week of vintage intake and a tsunami of Shiraz and Riesling at the same time, we managed to take a breather last night and review the damage.

Despite the lack of snooze - we couldn't be happier. It looks great. Actually it looks bloody awesome. Even the very cheeky Tempranillo is showing some exciting promise sitting on skins.

I find myself pleasantly surprised every time I stick my nose in a glass. Smell is one of my most heightened senses at this time of year. In fact the thought of being without it scares me to the point of breaking into a sweat. Can you imagine what you would miss? It's smelling the red ferments, the nuances of different Riesling juices, it's my new French oak barrels and the very special change of season.

Today was the first time that I could smell Autumnthat deliciously heady, warm and lifted smell of leaves changing colour and it stopped me in my tracks. Now that is something to write about.

Have you ever experienced a moment where the smell in the air reminds you of an experience past or transports you to a different place? The smell of vintage is filled with those concentrated winery smells that makes you run up stairs faster or drag hoses with greater gusto.

You can walk into the winery and know that you need to get some oxygen into your unhappy yeast, or that maybe the marc pile needs an empty or the bunsen burner in the lab is cooking the sample. Your sense of smell is so finely tuned that you can smell a corked bottle at 20 paces and god knows it can be your best vintage friend when you need it the most.

Let's face it - when you're working so hard your social life is totally out of the window - low maintenance friends are the best kind and a nose that knows is at the tip of the list.

Some of my most vivid memories are surrounded by smell a London black cab, the Central Market in Adelaide, freshly cut grass and the half bottle of Krug on the Eurostar to Paris. They all make me smile and although during vintage I haven't really the time to stop and think about them too much, my cellar of smells to draw upon in future continues to grow.

When I'm up to my eyeballs in grapes and running on empty it can be a simple aroma that gets me back on track. Over the next few days I have to line up all Riesling juices and fine tune before starting ferment.

Guaranteed I shall have my best friend along side of me or right under my nose in this case.