As others in the industry will attest, the 2018 vintage experienced one of the most extraordinary seasons, one that Tasmania has not witnessed in at least the last ten years. As Galileo so beautifully articulated, the sun definitely did its job this year, ripening those bunches of grapes with an assumption it had nothing better to do than to focus on Tasmania.
To put this in perspective, most years at Josef Chromy we’d usually start harvesting our grapes around the first week of March, but this year we started on February 19. And once it started, it did not stop coming for the next eight weeks.....it was full on. It was a record breaking year for us, processing 2477 tons of grapes in just eight weeks, with some of our daily intakes reaching 140 tons which made for some pretty intense days.
With the huge volume of fruit received each day, it was critical that we put together a team of staff that was highly skilled and extremely efficient. This year we had eight people join us from all over the world including the U.S., Canada, Germany, and Switzerland. The team were nothing short of exceptional and arguably the best combination of skills and personalities we’ve seen in the eight years since I joined.
Despite nailing our biggest vintage on record, we also managed to squeeze in a regular Saturday barbecue lunch – it was particularly convenient that we managed to hire a qualified chef on our winery team this year… (Thanks Nic!)
We are in the final stages now, pressing the last of the reds and finishing off the white ferments. It’s an intricate stage of the process, ensuring the wines ferment to dryness. So far, everything appears to be going very well and the wines are looking vibrant and full of character.
The vineyard team is now on a well-earned break before pruning starts in May/June. And then preparation starts again for next year’s vintage.
As the processing stage winds down, our production team crank up the disgorgement of our sparkling wines so we can get it out to our many distributors. And then it will be time to get started on all of the 2018 aromatic wines.
You should expect to see some impressive wines on the back of this vintage; quality wines that are intense, full of flavour and typically varietal, and what you’d expect from a Josef Chromy wine. Based on what we’ve seen so far, 2018 is definitely going to be a vintage to watch.
Every now and then we see a small batch of fruit that stands above the rest. Something that jumps out with a particular quality or attribute that stops you in your tracks and makes you wonder what would happen if you could bottle that batch just as it is. Usually, this is where the accountants step in with their logical reasoning - scales of economy, cost allocations and all that other sensible stuff - but when we found a few rows of exceptional fruit in one of our premier blocks in 2014, we decided to keep the batch separate anyway!
The resulting wine was as spectacular as we had hoped, but from this small batch, one single barrel stood above all. The oak worked seamlessly with the fruit, and no matter how many different combinations with other barrels we tried to blend, this one single barrel remained on a higher level.
Now this brings us back to the accountants! We already knew they probably wouldn’t like the idea of a single batch, so we would have to be out of our minds to think they would agree to bottling a single barrel. The solution? We three winemakers took it upon ourselves to hand bottle, by gravity, this single barrel late one evening, with no fining and no filtering; just as it looked in barrel.
This wine shows incredible texture and weight, soft tannins and rich red fruits. We have held this limited bottling in our cellars for an additional two years, to allow the wine to develop towards its full potential. However, it will reward those patient types well into the next decade. 275 bottles available for $150 each. BUY NOW
- Winemaker Stew
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Cellar Door - Open 7 days 10am - 5pm
Restaurant - Lunch daily 11.45am - 2.30pm
(Closed Christmas Day)
370 Relbia Rd
Relbia TAS 7258
03 6335 8700