JUST WINE: Fluctuating weather presents a challenging harvest

ON TRACK: Daniel Wright from Cumulus takes a look at some pretty good looking Cabernet fruit at the Little Boomey Vineyard. Photo: CONTRIBUTED
ON TRACK: Daniel Wright from Cumulus takes a look at some pretty good looking Cabernet fruit at the Little Boomey Vineyard. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

It has been a few years since we have had a vintage run comfortably past Easter.

Some of the cool sites in Orange still have fruit to pick and with the weather taking a distinctly cool turn this week ripening will be slow.

The first grapes for Orange #v17 were harvested in late February.

The harvest was then punctuated through March with some record rainfalls which were welcome after the heat of February but played havoc with ripening and presented major challenges to grape growers.

The last grapes for Orange v#17, Cabernet Sauvignon, won’t be picked until next week.

As the above photo shows, the Cabernet fruit has good bunch size and an excellent looking canopy for late in the season.

Cabernet and Merlot will be standout red varieties from Orange #v17.

The little taste of winter we had this week put me in the mood for slow-cooked food.

I was recently treated to an excellent slow roast of lamb shoulder which I might have to repeat for the next family gathering.

For me, lamb goes well with Cabernet wines like Ross Hill Pinnacle Cabernet or a Canobolas-Smith Alchemy from the back list but with the young and restless at home I might throw an Angullong Fossil Hill Sagrantino in the mix for something new and different.

Not widely known, Sagrantino comes from central Italy and it has characteristic dark colour, fruit intensity and assertive tannin.

The 2015 Angullong version has richness and structure and will be an excellent match for lamb.

Cheers,

strawhousewines@gmail.com

WHAT IS SAGRANTINO?

  • Sagrantino is one of the most interesting Italian red wine varieties used in Australia. A growing number of Winemakers are using this variety to make delicious wines with fruity, spicy flavors and fine structure. These wines are big, full-bodied reds showing fruity spicy aromatics and flavour. Sagrantino is sometimes blended with Sangiovese.