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1993 vintage guide for Red Australia

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Good Cabernets were produced in Western Australia. Elsewhere the vintage was mixed, with rather light wines

Weather Conditions

Here’s a vintage for the viticulturists. A very cold winter in 1992 delayed budburst and then flowering in some regions by up to three weeks. Unable to catch up, the ripening cycle was then completed in cooler and more autumnal conditions than is typical in most regions. Giving growers even more concern and ever greyer hair was the fact that until Easter the season tended to remain cloudy and humid in most wine regions, without ever becoming excessively damp. Downy mildew became a problem in many regions, while in the warmer areas growers were forced to harvest fruit less ripe than usual to avoid breakdown on the vines. Saving a potentially gloomy situation was something of an extended Indian summer, which managed to save later varieties like cabernet sauvignon in some cooler regions.

Best Appellations

It was a cooler and later season than usual for the Hunter Valley, but 1993 will go down as one of its better red vintages. Partly due to downy mildew, which reduced many crops in South Australia by 10-30%, this state generally managed to ripen its red grapes, but virtually irrespective of variety or vineyard, the wines only rarely escape a herbaceous and capsicum-like character typical of this season. The Margaret River had a solid red season, while great surprise of the vintage was the standard of certain shirazes from the Mornington Peninsula, the Paringa Estate especially.

Best Producers

The Hunters top reds came from Lakes Folly (Cabernets), Wyndham Estate (Show Reserve Shiraz) and Rothbury Estate (Reserve Shiraz). There were some exceptions to the rule in South Australia, such as the excellent Penfolds Bin 707 and Bin 389 reds, Tim Adams Aberfeldy (Clare), Jim Barrys The Armagh (Clare), Wynns Michael Shiraz (Coonawarra), Mildara Cabernet Sauvignon (Coonawarra). From Margaret River came excellent releases from Moss Wood, Cullen and Cape Mentelle. The best Victorian reds, like Jasper Hills Georgias Paddock Shiraz (Heathcote) and Craiglee Shiraz (Sunbury) were from the shiraz variety and tended to come from vineyards north of the Great Divide.

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