The 2020 vintage was initiated with a very warm bud burst and early growth in September/October 2019 and then endured a very cool and inclement November during flowering. The fruit set was abysmal at the Whalebone Vineyard in all varieties due to the cold windy and damp conditions. After November temperatures maintained the long-term average and the season ended with a heat summation of 1365ºC days against the long-term average of 1350ºC days. The very small crop benefited from the cooler ripening conditions and timely rains of January and February although the harvest window of March and early April was dry.
The Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc from the Whalebone Vineyard were all picked from the 31st of March to a late finish on the 9th of April.
The very meagre crop of a total of 8 tonnes from the 6.8 hectares of old vines at Whalebone Vineyard was handpicked and delivered to the Tapanappa Winery in the Piccadilly Valley. There the grapes were destemmed, roller crushed and chilled to 2ºC. Each variety was fermented separately in 0.9 tonne tubs, hand plunged each day during the 21-day fermentation on skins.
The sugar dry wines were pressed from the skins and gravitated immediately to barrique to undergo Malo-lactic fermentation. At the finish of Malo-lactic fermentation the wines were racked off gross lees and returned to the French oak barriques to complete 20 months of ageing in oak.
Each variety was clear racked from barrique at the end of 2021 and a decision was made about the blending of the preciously small quantity of 2020 Whalebone wines. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc were all blended together to create the Whalebone Vineyard 2020 Blend, the first time that has happened since 2006.
The wine was bottled in February of 2022.
Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard 2020 Blend is a very special wine, typically representative of the unique Whalebone Vineyard terroir in a meagre but splendid cooler vintage.
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Liquor Licensing Act 1997
It is an offense to sell or to supply to or to obtain liquor on behalf of a person under the age of 18 years.
Liquor license No. 50809187
Wines are sold by Tapanappa Wines Pty. Ltd. ABN 86 104 001 667