It was a proud moment for me to launch the sale of the 2011 Renzaglia Cabernet Merlot with my brother, Paul. On June 4 we held a release at Alto Vineyards, Champaign and on June 5 were did the same at Alto Vineyards in Alto Pass. Alto Vineyards is the legacy of my father and is continuing through my brother, Paul and the rest of the Renzaglia family. Interestingly, our Cab Merlot drank very well on the evening showing plenty of potential to age gracefully. We poured the 2013 Alto Chambourcin along side the Cab Merlot and it is an exceptional Chambourcin – in my opinion one of the best in years. It was great to have a brief catch up with a few of my old school buddies too.
So, if you are in the U.S.A., we would be delighted if you got a chance to visit either or both of the Alto Vineyards cellar doors and get to taste my Cabernet Merlot and any of the Alto Vineyards wines. In the near future, I hope to export a Shiraz and a Chardonnay to Alto Vineyards to continue with our Renzaglia family collaboration.
And what a roller coaster ride it has been. First, the late frosts in spring wiped out our potential crop in O’Connell. Then, the unrelenting heat followed with the months of December, January and the first part of February hardly ever getting below a high of 30 degrees. Lastly, the wet humid conditions came in to finish the season.
In my opinion, the effect of this ‘ride’ on the vintage at the Mt Panorama Estates vineyard has been surprisingly positive. The hot and dry conditions in the middle of summer helped to keep the berry size small and fruit flavours intense. We harvested the whites at Mount Panorama Estate in the middle of February, before most of the rain came. The Shiraz was harvested about three weeks later and the Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested on 14 April. What a spread to the vintage! In the end, I have about 15 tonnes of good to exceptional fruit. I am very excited about the Shiraz….great colour and flavours.
Now, as I always say, the rest of up to the winemaking to bring out the positive flavours and characteristics of the vintage.