2008 Whalebone Merlot Cab Franc – sure hands here

Author: Campbell Mattinson
Review Date: Nov 2012

The Whalebone Vineyard – great name – in the Wrattonbully region includes 0.8 hectares of cabernet franc and 1 hectare of merlot. These vines were planted in 1974. “After a 30 year struggle the vines have penetrated the deeper limestone layers and are extracting a balance of moisture and nutrient to sustain a meagre crop of 2 tonnes/hectare. The vines have sufficient canopy and root system to fully ripen the harvest relying only on natural rainfall” – according to the press release. The wine spends 30 months in French oak (30 percent new), a portion of this time on full lees. It’s bottled without filtration and then spends two years in bottle prior to release. 300 dozen made.

Smells rich and powerful; tastes it too. You’re in firm, sure hands here. Blackcurrant, buckshot, gravel, bay leaves and tobacco. Grainy, seedy, stern tannin. Game, brine, undergrowth. Big and complex. Both earthen and fruity. Floral notes add lift. Will live for a long time.

93+ points

Drink 2016 – 2024

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