Shaw + Smith Vintage 2020
What a year! For winegrowers in the Adelaide Hills, it was anything but normal.
September and October saw a lot of frosts. Some vineyards were relatively unscathed, whereas a few lost almost their entire crop.
The weather during flowering in November was unsettled, with a lot of cool, windy days which resulted in heavily reduced yields, which we initially estimated at 30 - 40% below normal. December came with extra heat, and in late December fires tore through the Adelaide Hills, destroying homes and other property, including vineyards. Some vineyards that we source fruit from were burnt in the fires. A number of others were affected by smoke taint, and unfortunately this meant we had to reject a significant amount of fruit.
The ripening period, though, was great from a weather perspective. After some rain in early February, we had lovely cool to mild temperatures, sunny days, and fresh winds from the south-west and south-east. It was the perfect month for ripening, with daily maximum temperatures ranging from around 15°C (59°F) to around 29°C (84°F). So those grapes that made it through flowering and fires were treated to ideal conditions, and they were small, packed with flavour, and had higher than normal acidity.
The wines are very exciting. Excellent acidity and fresh, bright flavours reflect the lovely February, and the low yields have translated to intense flavours.