2018 at Thorn-Clarke, Barossa Valley
The 2018 vintage was a return to Barossan normality after the long, cool vintage of 2017. A dry winter and spring led into an equally dry ripening period during January, February and March. Temperatures over this period were warm and we were fortunate to miss any extended periods of very hot temperatures. Without the pressures of extreme weather against us every picking decision this year came easily as we could wait till the optimum ripeness each time.
The first harvest of the year came in early February when our Eden Valley Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were picked for our non-vintage sparkling. From then the grapes slowly ripened allowing the picking to be spaced out evenly until the last batch of fruit, our Petit Verdot was picked in mid-April.
With good even conditions throughout vintage the vineyards performed beautifully producing grapes with excellent aromas and flavours.
The white wines this vintage almost ‘made themselves’ and all that was left for us to do was to ‘not stuff them up’. They carry good natural levels of zesty acidity and have clean, vibrant aromas and persistent fruit on the palate.
Reds are dense and dark with abundant dark fruits and good structure across the board. The flavours are typically Barossan, warm and ripe with great poise and balance. The weather allowed each variety to express and retain the varietal characters that make each one unique.
In summary, 2018 will go down as one of the best vintages so far this century. Exceptional quality and varietal expression alongside a well spaced out vintage made 2018 one to remember.
Peter Kelly, Senior Winemaker/Winery Manager