Autumn 2017: In the red

Pikes Wines new label design

By Neil Pike

Autumn is my favourite time of the year. I like the hustle, bustle and excitement of harvest and the beautiful autumn colours. But mostly, I like that the weather is more conducive to red wine consumption than the preceding hot summer months.

Fortunately, autumn is when we release our new vintage reds and this year, we’re starting to roll out reds from the excellent 2015 vintage.

Overall the 2015 vintage rates very highly and is up there with previous high quality years such as 2012, 2009 and 2005. All the wines display their usual traits and all are very much in the medium-bodied style that we do best here in Clare.

Our Shiraz-based wines seem to be the stars at present; they’re a little more approachable, but this may well change once our Cabernet-based wines settle down post bottling.

In recent times, we’ve aimed to get our red wines into bottle just a tad earlier, in an effort to retain a little more of the juicy freshness of the grapes. The wines are now spending less time in oak, a little more time in tank and are going to bottle sooner.

This has meant we have had a busy time of it in the winery since the middle of last year, finalising the blends, finishing the wines off ready to bottle and getting them into bottle, thus making way for the new vintage.

You will also no doubt notice a “freshen up” of our labels for the 2015 reds. We are really pleased with the new look and will be interested to hear your feedback. Not huge changes by any means – just a tidy up.