Last week I mentioned that one notable Hunter winery wouldn’t be making much premium wine from vintage 2020. I was sworn to secrecy on the news, but that winery has now been revealed as Tyrrell’s who are staring at crop losses of 80% this year due to smoke taint.
Thankfully the Hunter is coming off three high quality vintages in a row so they still have wine to sell. On a completely selfish note, my little girl was born last year, so her birth year Vat 1 is now sitting happily at Wine Ark. Apologies to my brother too, with his little girl born this week and 2020 looking to be a problematic vintage in Australia. Of course I’m a 1981 baby, which was a pretty ordinary vintage!
Still, as I keep saying, Australia is a massive country and there will be great wine made this year.
Meanwhile, one Tassie winemaker has found a way, through a complicated distillation process, to dramatically reduce some of the undesirable smoke taint compounds (including guaiacol) in his finished wines.
Memstar in South Australia offer services to remove smoke taint too, using RO (reverse osmosis) and filtration technology to remove undesirable compounds. It’s not cheap, but hey if it’s going to save your vintage, it’s probably worth a go. 2020 is going to be a big year for Memstar methinks…
Finally, there’s this heartbreaking story from Adrian Brayne in Tumbarumba who was hit hard in the bushfires. With one of the few decent sized wineries in ‘Tumby’, Brayne is a key figure in the region and his Chardonnay is particularly good.
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Not to put too fine a point on it but the Tassie winery isn’t removing taint from his wine but rather distilling the wine and thereby losing the taint in his brandy. A good alternative to losing his crop. Of course there is the need to age the brandy.