Notes on the 2021 vintage from the desk of Lawson’s Dry Hills chief winemaker, Marcus (with assistant winemaker, Bec)

2021 characterised by low yields and high quality

Low yields were caused by several factors starting with a warm winter which led to early budburst. This meant that flowering was early and was negatively affected by lower-than-average temperatures. Plus a frost at the end of September also caused some damage and this badly affected our 40-year-old Gewurztraminer.

The remainder of the season was just about perfect with long sunshine hours, warm temperatures (but not extreme) and low rainfall, which when combined with lower crops, has produced very high-quality wines.

It was a near perfect year for Sauvignon Blanc with loads of passionfruit characters balanced by gentle herbal notes, delicate acidity and lovely fruit weight. Classic Marlborough at its best (just devastating that yields were so down).

Our earliest pick date ever for Chardonnay! This fruit was absolutely perfect with lovely, concentrated flavours. Another great year for this variety – be sure to look out for some stunning wines down the track!

Pinot Noir yields were down over 40% but the resulting wines have lovely depth and concentration. We were cautious not to over-extract the grapes treating them very gently through the vinification process. This will be a terrific year resulting in ripe, supple, flavoursome wines. Just not enough!

Sadly, due to the frost on the 30th of September, there will be no Gewurztraminer from the 2021 harvest. This is a real shame but we do have plenty from previous vintages though, so don’t despair!

With the great weather, we were able to leave the Pinot Gris on the vine for enhanced flavour development. The resulting wines are ripe with a luscious, weighty mouthfeel, balanced acidity and plenty of flavour.

Sauvignon Blanc: Quality up but volume down by 25%

Pinot Noir: Volume down in excess of 40% but excellent Quality

Chardonnay: A real standout

Perfect Pinot Gris