2009 vintage report from By Farr wines.

Nick Farr from By Farr wines gives us the low-down on the 2009 vintage. “The wines have settled perfectly from a testing vintage that clearly needed patience. These are extraordinary wines from an extraordinary year.   The opinion of many people is that the 2009 season was a warm one because of the five days over
40 degrees but in fact it was quite a cool to mild season except for those 5 days.  We had acceptable
spring rains and a warm start to the season but it finished quite cool which was the opposite of the
2008 vintage.  Budburst occurred at the normal time whereas the previous two vintages had been
early.  After 6 years of an intensive mulching program to trap moisture, this was the year that the
straw proved vital. The straw maintained good moisture and lowering of the soil temperature
throughout the summer months.  The fruit was picked at very close to normal picking dates, after a shorter than normal veraisin period.  It was a near perfect season in Bannockburn with crop levels slightly below average and fantastic  colour in the grapes. The heat wave accelerated the ripening during veraisin making this period of the season move very quickly. Harvest started on the 3rd of March and carried through until the 25th March. The shorter than normal ripening period caused quite a strong tannin profile in all of the
wines. These larger than life tannins needed to be harnessed during fermentation and left to mature
in barrel.  It was a vintage that perhaps speaks more of the year than of the dirt and site as a young
wine but there is great potential for ageing well.  It is in the future that the soils of these wines will truly
show through.
Fermentation: the whites fermented smoothly at low temperatures over a 6 week period. The reds
needed little intervention for extraction because of the natural flavours of the vintage. It was a year of
extreme flavour and finding a balance between acidity and oak for a harmonious wine. It was a
vintage that will be remembered for the heat spike, grippy long tannins and another season of
understanding the parameters of our unique site. It was a reminder that we have very little control
over the expressions of our piece of dirt.”