Saturday, October 17, 2009

2003 HAWKES BAY VINTAGE


One of my many readers has asked about the 2003 vintage from Hawkes Bay. This reader is obviously a little slow off the mark. Either that or he has been duped by supermarkets into buying old wine on special that hasn't sold previously due to inferior winemaking or vintage conditions. Sadly the latter applied in this case. 2003 was a difficult year for grape growers and winemakers in Hawkes Bay. Spring brought late frosts that destroyed a lot of grape potential and diminished the quality and quantity of the remainder. The warm summer looked promising but a wet Autumn (when the grapes are picked) negated the advantages of ripeness. Wet picking conditions give grape growers a double whammy. Humidity accompanies rainy conditions and encourages rot and fungal diseases of the grapes - imparting musty and unwanted 'honeyish' characters. Rain also gathers in the bunches and when harvested has a dilution effect on the juice from the crush reducing the intensity of fruit flavours.
Not all wine from this vintage was poor. The best wines stemmed from careful vineyard maintenance and there were some superb examples. Careful vineyard maintenance however means high input costs so these wines are expensive, Remember that I said late Spring frosts also reduced quantity so the best wines were also scarce. It is highly unlikely that our reader discovered an exceptional 2003 Hawkes Bay wine on special at his supermarket. Well done that reader though in feeling confident to ask the question. Keep those queries coming in folks.

9 comments:

Tom Bokker said...

Felt myself lucky to pick up a bottle of Half Mile Creek 2007 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc for just $29.95. Did I do well?

THE WINE GUY said...

I assume you meant a case at that price Tom. Even then I wouldn't drink the stuff myself but use it as a punch base for guests. No you did not do well. Go play with your gun.

Nicola's Supermarket Bag said...

"One of my many readers has asked about the 2003 vintage from Hawkes Bay."

A philosophical question:

Say you only have one reader, but he has multiple blog personalities, does that count as 'many readers'?

THE WINE GUY said...

A philosophical answer:
If that person with multiple blog personalities was Richard and if he played a wind instrument instead of a stringed instrument, it would count as 'many reeders'.

Anonymous said...

Most of my personalities fell asleep when they read this post. You might have stumbled on a way to get rid of them.
Richard (of RBB).

THE WINE GUY said...

"Most of my personalities fell asleep when they read this post. You might have stumbled on a way to get rid of them.
Richard (of RBB)."
Right you are. I'll get onto writing even more boring posts. I'll get my old mate The Boring Guy to help out too. It'd be nice to see that bastard Bin Hire disappear for a start.

Anonymous said...

I was born in wedlock.
Bin Hire

Richard (of RBB) said...

"It'd be nice to see that bastard Bin Hire disappear for a start."
That Tom guy of yours sounds like the real bastard around here.

Richard (of RBB) said...

"A philosophical question:

Say you only have one reader, but he has multiple blog personalities, does that count as 'many readers'?"
Which one of Pete's personalities are you expecting to answer this?