‘Challenging‘, ‘difficult‘ and ‘poor‘ – just some of the words that have been used to describe vintage 2011! Along with the statement that 2011 was a ‘once in a career vintage/weather event‘ for many winemakers.
But just how are these 2011 wines drinking now?
For Laughing Jack it’s not about ‘wines‘ but ‘wine‘ as we declassified all of our premium wines such as the Limited Two Shiraz and Greenock Shiraz. What this means is that we only made 1 wine and fruit that typically produces our premium wines boosted our 2011 Jack’s Shiraz – and that it did!
Vintage 2011 was unseasonably cool, cloudy and wet here in the Barossa Valley. Grape growers were faced with both downy and powdery mildew. The term ‘slip skins’ became common conversation (although never heard of before by many) as bunches of grapes would turn to mush when touched due to relenting botrytis.
Thankfully due to open vine canopies among other things Laughing Jack’s vineyards fared exceptionally well. A fruit loss of 10% was suffered but for many other grape growers not a bunch was picked! Hand picking was essential as hand selection of bunches was critical. All affected fruit was dropped on the ground.
6 years on the 2011 Jack’s Shiraz is holding up exceptionally well after the overall vintage was written off by most critics. It still looks youthful with great colour, a dark core with brick red rim. It has all the hallmarks of a cooler vintage with red fruits, pepper and herbal notes. The palate is savoury and round with a lovely structural finish!
Drinking well now but a few more years in the cellar wouldn’t hurt!