THE Hunter Valley has the wine industry abuzz with calls that this year’s crop is producing the “best vintage of the century”.
Heavy rains in November followed by lots of sunshine over January and February allowed farmers to harvest the fruits at optimum ripeness.
And it’s paying off, according to Tyrrell’s winemaker Chris Tyrrell.
He said there was an “incredible concentration of flavour”, particularly in the semillons and shiraz.
“It’s certainly been one of the best vintages I’ve seen,” he said.
“It’s a combination of the great weather and the picking season being early, because we had a dry winter.
“I’ve never seen the fruit look so good. Everything has been perfect, from the chemistry of the fruit to the sugar levels.”
Tyrrell’s managing director Bruce Tyrrell said it was the best vintage of the century.
As a result, there was a lot of interest from serious wine-buying investors.
“My father Murray was famous for regularly declaring a ‘vintage of the century’,’’ he said.
‘‘Well, this [vintage] is possibly the best of both this and last century.’’
De Iuliis Wines winemaker Mike De Iuliis said it was nice not to have had to go through the usual fear of rain setting in and affecting the quality of the fruit.
“I can’t remember a vintage which has been so relaxing, nor which has provided the most amazing grape quality for us to work with,’’ he said.
‘‘As a winemaker, I will be lucky to see another vintage like 2014,” he said.
Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association general manager Gus Maher said all the varieties had been praised as some of the region’s best.
He said the feedback from those who had tried samples was that it was “a vintage for the ages”.
Hunter Valley 2014 semillons will be bottled and available for sale in the coming weeks.
The 2014 reds will serve their time maturing in their oak barrels until release later in 2015.