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The Wingara Wine Scribe
 
18 April 2017 | The Wingara Wine Scribe

Vintage 2017 - the story so far.

Vintage 2017 is almost complete for Australia’s Deakin Estate, Murray Darling and Katnook Estate, Coonawarra. Throughout Australia, harvest was generally later than usual and at this early stage, quality is looking exceptional for both Deakin and Katnook according to winemakers.

Deakin Estate’s winemaker, Frank Newman reports, “We finished harvest just after Easter by picking Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot and Malbec – this is exceptionally late compared to the last few years. The warm harvest period in 2016 increased the fruitfulness of the vines and delaying maturity in 2017. Combined with a relatively cool spring and summer, fruit development has been held back meaning an extended ripening period.

This season’s wines are showing more elegance than the “big” wines of last year. Colours in the red are looking good as are the aromas and flavours.  The body of these wines will be more refined than 2016. This will also be the case for our white wines, which are showing less tropical aromas and flavours than normal and more flora fragrant bouquets.

This will mean that our oaked wine styles will have less time in oak this year, so that fruit characters can be highlighted. Non oaked whites like Sauvignon Blanc are showing characteristic floral aromas with light delicate palate weight structures. Again one of the shining lights will be Viognier, aromatic and flavoursome with a little texture on the palate – it is one of the wines we enjoy making the most. It has indeed been a terrific vintage.”

Katnook is located some 500 kilometres south of Deakin Estate in the cooler Coonawarra district.  Katnook winemaker, Wayne Stehbens is happy with the 2017 season.  He says, “The season to date has been cooler and wetter than last year, reminiscent of vintages 10-15 years ago.  We commenced harvest on the 2nd March 2017 two weeks later than last year by picking Pinot Meuniere, Pinot Noir (both for sparkling base) and Sauvignon Blanc.  The fruit was in excellent condition, with high natural acidity and great flavours at low sugar levels.  This was followed by Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Chardonnay in mid-March.  Fruit flavours and natural acid balance are pleasing across our white wines.

The weather by early April was drier and slightly warmer than average, which was ideal for harvest of our Merlot, Shiraz and later, Cabernet Sauvignon.  Picking should conclude in early May and initial assessments show that our red wines will be exceptionally elegant with rich flavours and gentle tannins.”

Time Posted: 18/04/2017 at 1:07 PM
The Wingara Wine Scribe
 
23 March 2017 | The Wingara Wine Scribe

Langton's Trio release from Katnook Coonawarra

Katnook Coonawarra is one the few wineries with three or more listings in the Langton’s Classification of Australian wine.  This month, Katnook releases its flagship wines, Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon and Prodigy Shiraz from the outstanding 2012 vintage as well as Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013.  Under the Langton’s Classification IV, Odyssey is rated ‘Outstanding’ while Prodigy and Katnook Estate Cabernet sit in the ‘ Excellent’ category. 

Katnook Winemaker Wayne Stehbens says the 2012 Coonawarra vintage, “is now considered to be one of the finest for Coonawarra.  It was a very early, warm, dry, low yielding vintage which led to intense fruit aromas, great depth of flavours and fine tannins for both Odyssey Cabernet and Prodigy Shiraz.” 

Katnook Prodigy Shiraz 2012. RRP $100.

Prodigy is one of 65 wines listed in the ‘Excellent’ category of the Langton’s VI, Classification of Australian Wine.  
The first Prodigy vintage was in 1997 from young vines and won the Jimmy Watson trophy, Melbourne Wine Show 1998. The 2012 is the 13th release.
Prodigy is crafted from small parcels of grapes harvested from sites that have consistently produced fruit of outstanding depth of fruit flavour, excellent colour and firm tannin structure.
James Halliday rated this wine 96 points saying, " Prodigy marches to the tune of its own drum, and practice has long since made perfect. Despite all the winemaking and time spent in oak, it has retained balance, emerging at the end of the process as elegant, the tannins supple, the wine fresh.”  (Australian Wine Companion 2017).

Grape Variety            100% Shiraz

Region                        100% Coonawarra

Harvested                   20th – 22nd March 2012

Analyses                     pH  3.39,  Acidity  6.1g/L, Alc/vol. 14.5%

Cellaring Potential      10 to 15 years

Oak maturation          25 months in 225L barriques in new and 2 year old French, as well as new American oak.

Andrew Caillard MW reviewed the Prodigy Shiraz style at www.langtons.com.au as follows:

Katnook Estate Prodigy Shiraz, first made in 1997 by senior winemaker Wayne Stehbens, comprises select parcels of the best fruit from the estate’s 26 hectares of mature Shiraz vineyards. The vines, established in the mid-1990s and planted at 1.5 metre intervals in rows two metres apart, are anchored in classic terra rossa soils over limestone and transitional dark clays. Low crop yields are achieved by precise canopy management, hand-pruning, bunch-thinning and shoot-removal. Organic principles are increasingly followed. The wine is small-batch vinified in open fermenters, basket-pressed and then matured in new (up to 100%) French and American oak barriques for 24 - 28 months. Katnook Estate Prodigy Shiraz typically shows intense raspberry and plum aromas, generous, pure-fruit flavours and underlying liquorice spice with finely-grained tannins and plenty of flavour length. 

Katnook Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon 2012.  RRP $100.

Odyssey is one of 52 wines listed in the ‘Outstanding’ category of the Langton’s VI, Classification of Australian Wine.
First vintage was in 1991.  Accolades include the Frescobaldi Trophy and Best Australian Red at the 2003 International Wine and Spirit Competition for the 1998 vintage.
Rated 95 points by James Halliday, who described it as “Hyper-intense, full-bodied cabernet varietal fruit is beyond the normal Odyssey style, but none the worse (indeed better) for that; blackcurrant and bay leaf, plus notes of tar, race along the palate, barely checking their momentum on the finish and aftertaste. Drink by 2037.”  (Australian Wine Companion 2017).

Grape Variety            100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region                        100% Coonawarra

Harvested                   8th – 13th April 2012

Analyses                     pH  3.4,  Acidity  6.99g/L, Alc/vol. 14.5%

Cellaring Potential      15 to 18 years

Oak maturation          13 months in 50% French (10% new) and 50% older American oak barriques

Andrew Caillard MW reviewed the Odyssey style at www.langtons.com.au as follows:

The concentrated and powerful Odyssey is selected from the most outstanding parcels of intense Cabernet fruit from specific vineyard rows planted on rich, clay, terra rossa loams over a thick, hard layer of limestone. After vinification in small-batch fermenters, maturation takes place over 30 to 40 months in a combination of new French and American barriques. Some parcels are ‘double-oaked’ to increase flavour complexity. The maturation regime is intuitive to the character of the vintage. Stehbens describes the overall style as ‘a wine with ripe, rich fruit combined with complex oak and barrel-matured flavours’. This highly-prized Coonawarra wine is a benchmark style with beautifully intense, pure, blackcurrant aromas, mocha oak complexity, superb volume and dense, chocolaty tannins. The Odyssey verges on the ‘essence-of-Coonawarra’ style yet manages to achieve remarkable balance and minerality.”

Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013.  RRP $40.

Stehbens describes the 2013 vintage as “One of the earliest starts and finishes on record - slightly warmer than normal, very dry but without the extreme heat experienced in many other parts of Australia.    From a grape ripening view point that was ideal.  Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon were the stars.” 

Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is one of 65 wines listed in the ‘Excellent’ category of the Langton’s VI, Classification of Australian Wine. 
Winner of 4 silver medals at leading international wine competitions.
Sarah Ahmed, Decanter Magazine (UK), September 2016 gave this wine 93 points, describing it as ‘Heady with a rich burnish of charry, spicy oak to its cassis and juicier mulberry and blackberry. Long, with ripe but textural gravelly tannins. Drink: 2016-2028.’

Andrew Caillard MW reviewed this wine style at www.langtons.com.au as follows:

‘The wine is matured in new (30-40%) and seasoned French oak for 22 to 24 months.  Varietal definition and regional expression are captured through meticulous selection of vineyard components, instinctive use of oak maturation and skilful blending.  The wine typically shows intense blackcurrant and mulberry aromas, generous pure-fruit flavours, finely-grained tannins, underlying mocha notes, plenty of flavour length and great aging potential.’  

Availability.  Selected Dan Murphy’s and Vintage Cellars Australia wide stock Odyssey, Prodigy and Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

Distribution.  Australian distributors for Katnook wines are:

NSW, VIC, QLD            Fesq and Co.              Tel. 1300 763 377.

SA                                Muster Wine Co.         Tel. 0430 360 650.

WA                              Off the Vine.                Tel. 08 9418 8210.

Time Posted: 23/03/2017 at 1:13 PM