2021 Vintage report: Porongurup, WA

The 2021 vintage in the Porongurup Wine Region was characterised by an excellent growing season, with rain prior to vintage followed by warm ripening conditions yielding average crop levels of long-lived elegant white wines and outstanding red wines.

Budburst was reasonably earlier than average, but with the very good late spring rain, the soil moisture levels filled and vine growth slowed slightly helping built the regional complexity in the fruit.

“The mild growing conditions through summer, along with our usual rigorous vineyard and canopy management put us in a very good position at the end of January,” explained Castle Rock Estate winegrower, Rob Diletti.

Rain in the region in mid-February was too early to create any issues, however there was a constant drizzle during the first two weeks of March which created some issues leading into harvest. “Due to this rain, we spent more time in the vineyard dropping any botrytis effected fruit. This ensured that all the grapes coming into the winery were pristine.”

“This rain meant we harvested slightly earlier than usual, and sure enough, just as we finished picking, the rain stopped.”

The Riesling and the Chardonnay are looking fantastic, albeit requiring some more finesse in the winery. They will tend to be on the elegant side and should age particularly well; a feature of the wines from Castle Rock Estate.”

After this rain, there was two weeks of warm weather, ensuring the red varieties ripened well, if not all at once.

“The fruit coming through the winery was lovely. The Pinot Noir and Shiraz is excellent, with the yields fairly average across the region.

“This year has allowed us to broaden our Riesling collection, with the addition of a couple of new styles. These are new styles that have been in the planning stages for a number of years, so it is exciting to see these wines in bottle.”

Castle Rock Estate is nestled on the eastern slopes of the Porongurup Mountain and is named after a prominent nearby granite landmark. The vineyard, which sits in Great Southern’s sub region Porongurup, has a cool and elevated northerly aspect, resulting in intensely flavoured wines, particularly Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The vineyard was established in 1983 by Angelo and Wendy Diletti and is now run by their son Rob. Their 200-tonne winery was constructed in 2000 and in 2015 Rob Diletti was named Wine Companion Winemaker of the Year. He was a finalist in the 2019 Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine Winemaker of the Year awards.