2012 The must have vintage - to drink now, to cellar, to enjoy in all its glory!
Let’s start by saying the 2012 vintage has been declared outstanding across Australia. I know it is impossible to summarise one vintage across such a big country, but each and every wine region has produced brilliant whites and reds. I will start by getting the stats out of the way, drawing on information from The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia’s annual Vintage Survey:
- Volume is expected to be 4% higher than in 2011
- Estimate of the total national crush is at 1.66 million tonnes
- The average five year figure stands at 1.63 million
- Warm inland regions have increased by around 7% (or 70,000 tonnes) to nearly reach one million tonnes
- Production of red and white wines was almost equal
- Shiraz and Chardonnay are the two highest varieties by volume with the former being the largest overall
- Pinot Gris / Grigio is still on the rise with growth around 40%
Two iconic labels Henschke Hill of Grace and Penfolds Grange are rated 9/10 on Langton’s vintage chart. These sit alongside manly varietal and regional 9/10s (Adelaide Hills Chardonnay; Barossa Shiraz; Eden Valley Cabernet & Shiraz; Padthaway Shiraz; Beechworth Pinot Noir; Eastern & Northern Tasmania; Gippsland Pinot Noir; Grampians Shiraz; Macedon Chardonnay & Pinot Noir; Yarra Valley Cabernet & Chardonnay and Margaret River Cabernet & Chardonnay to name a few).
The strongest wines with 10/10 come from classic varietal and regional pairings including Beechworth Chardonnay; Geelong Chardonnay & Pinot Noir; Heathcote Shiraz; Pyrenees Cabernet & Shiraz; Yarra Valley Pinot Noir; Clare Valley Riesling & Shiraz; Coonawarra Cabernet; Eden Valley Riesling; Padthaway Chardonnay; McLaren Vale Shiraz and Great Southern Cabernet.
As a wine trade professional the access to great wines to promote, sell and enjoy is really exciting as many of the 2012 wines are just coming onto the market now. As a consumer, the wine offerings are plentiful and confidence should be at an all time high when selecting wine to enjoy now or cellar for the future. Now would be the time to rummage through your current wines and critically pull out and drink back vintages of both whites and reds to make room for 2012 to enter your cellar (Riesling, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet and Pinot Noir, all age worthy varietals).
Over the next few weeks I will be posting some notes on various 2012 tastings I have had the opportunity to attend. The focus will be on single varietals from classic regions with the aim of providing a solid review of wine from the same region and all from the 2012 vintage. The first blog to be posted later this week will focus on Langhorne Creek Malbec 2012.
Happy reading and hopefully happy wine purchasing if the notes tempt you to in that direction!