Coonawarra experienced 20 days of temperature greater than 35°C during the months of December to March. There was no significant crop loss due to heat and vine canopies remained in excellent condition through to the end of harvest. The proximity of the Great Southern Ocean mitigated the warm weather, with cooler nights providing respite and allowing for good flavour development. Cool and dry conditions in April were ideal to complete ripening with an orderly harvest delivering slightly below-average yields of excellent quality grapes.
With each vintage release the cool-climate Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz provides an interesting counterpoint to the more opulent and richly concentrated warm climate Bin 28 Shiraz. Bin 128 comprises fruit sourced from the unique terra rossa soils of Coonawarra, a region that exemplifies the perfume, transparency and seductive nature of cool-climate red table wines. Coonawarra has remained the source of shiraz fruit for Bin 128 since the inaugural release of the 1962 vintage. In order to further enhance the regional qualities of Bin 128, the wine is matured in a mixture of new and seasoned French oak hogsheads, élevage that was refined during the 1980’s when the transition was made from American to French oak.
Coonawarra enjoyed winter rainfall 22% above the long-term average, which set the vines up with good soil moisture profiles for the growing season. Spring temperatures were average to slightly above-average, although September was the coolest month recording two sub 0°C events that saw frost fans spinning into action. Spring and summer were very dry with only 76% of the long-term average rainfall recorded.