Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard 2019 Cabernet Shiraz

The 2019 Tapanappa Cabernet Shiraz has a translucent, medium intensity colour and the purple-crimson hue of ripe young Cabernet Sauvignon.

The aroma is fresh and complex with spicey mulberry notes from the Cabernet and subtle earthy anise tones from the Shiraz. Cedar notes from the Cabernet Sauvignon and oak with the fine leather in the beginning of bottle age complete the bouquet of the wine. The flavour of the wine reflects the nose with a fresh fruit mid-palate and savoury tannin finish.

It is a wine that will age gracefully for decades ahead.

Vintage Notes

2019 was a very warm and dry vintage at Tapanappa’s Whalebone Vineyard in Wrattonbully. The Cabernet Sauvignon crop yield, from the 45-year-old Whalebone Vineyard, was a meagre 2.5 tonnes per hectare because of poor fruit set in late November.

The critical ripening months of March and April were dry and moderate despite the early season heat. Whalebone Vineyard received 72% of normal growing season rainfall in 2019. The heat summation for the growing season was 1629°C-days versus the average of 1466°C-days.

In 2019 the Whalebone Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was hand-harvested at the normal time of the 9th of April. The Shiraz from the adjacent close-spaced Crayères Vineyard was harvested on the 20th of March.

Winemaking Notes

The Cabernet Sauvignon from the Whalebone Vineyard and the Shiraz grapes from the Crayères Vineyard in Wrattonbully were hand-harvested and delivered at night to the Tapanappa Winery in the Piccadilly Valley.

The grapes were destemmed, lightly roller crushed and chilled to 2°C on the way to 0.85 tonne fermenting tubs. The crushed must was cold soaked on skins for two days before the fermentation was initiated. After fermentation began, the tubs were hand plunged daily, fully immersing the skins in the fermenting juice. The fermentation lasted for 11 days and reached a maximum temperature of 33°C. At the end of fermentation, the wine was left on skins for a seven-day maceration under inert gas cover.

The Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz wines, still separate, were gently pressed away from the skins and immediately gravitated to French oak barriques, 50% new and 50% single use, to undergo malolactic fermentation. At the end of malolactic fermentation, the wines were racked off gross lees and returned to barrique for a further 17 months of maturation.

In November 2020, the wines were clear racked from the barriques and blended, 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Shiraz. The finished wine was bottled in December 2020. Only 670 dozen of the 2019 Tapanappa Cabernet-Shiraz was made.

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