Last night (Tuesday December 3), I attended a tasting of Balblair vintages. We tasted five whiskies, 2003, 1997, 1990, 1983 and 1969, prefaced by a glass of Balblair’s base spirit.
Frosts and hailstorms caused millions of euros worth of damages earlier this year. Josef Pleil, president of the Austrian Winegrowers' Association and vice president of the Provincial Chamber of Agriculture of Lower Austria, said: “Because of the severe natural events, such as the winter frost, the late frosts and massive hailstorms that occurred this year in all of the wine-growing areas, we are predicting that the harvest will yield a below-average volume - between 2 and 2.2 million hectoliters.
"In the vineyards that were unaffected by the natural disasters, grapes of especially high quality - based on the present state of vegetation - can be expected.”
“Where there was no damage by frost or hail, a grape harvest of exceptional quality can be counted on. The rapid bud break, the dry conditions in spring - and finally enough rain - and then the summer heat all have been responsible for the well-advanced vegetation, especially compared with the harvests of previous years, even the early harvest of 2011,” says Pleil
“Because of the earlier ripening of the grapes, it is anticipated that the harvest will begin early this year in the first week of September. In the Seewinkel, in Burgenland, picking of the early varieties, which are mainly used for sturm, is already in progress. If there are no massive changes in the weather, we can expect that the 2012 vintage - like any early hot and dry vintage - will deliver wines that express full ripeness and are characterised by higher alcohol content and lower acidity, ” said Pleil