The March start to the Clare Valley’s 2017 vintage was reminiscent of bygone seasons, with some old hands recalling “how it used to be” before a changing climate pushed the first pick of harvest into early February. While ample rain in the winter and spring of 2016 laid a foundation for optimism, cooler temperatures in January and rain towards the end of the month slowed ripening in South Australia’s wine regions. A burst of hot weather in early February triggered some movement and crops began to ripen at a more normal pace in the kinder conditions.
The 2017 St Ignatius is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (52%), Merlot (25%), Malbec (14%) and Cabernet Franc (9%). All four varieties are crushed in to open slate fermenters where they stay on skins for 12-14 days, with gentle hand plunging three times a day.