Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard 2019 Merlot Cabernet Franc

The 2019 Tapanappa Merlot Cabernet Franc has deep purple-crimson colour intensity and hue.

The aroma has plum and blackberry ripeness with the slightly minty dried spice of the Whalebone terroir.

The texture is immediately evident in the mouth, and the flavours are consistent with the aroma and bouquet. The tannins provide a savoury and satisfying finish.

The 2019 Tapanappa Merlot-Cabernet Franc has a long ageing potential.

Vintage Notes

2019 was a very warm and dry vintage at Tapanappa’s Whalebone Vineyard in Wrattonbully.

The Merlot and Cabernet Franc crop yield from the 45-year-old Whalebone Vineyard was a meagre 3.0 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 Merlot was hand-harvested at the normal time of the 20th of March and the Cabernet Franc on the 1st of April.

Winemaking Notes

The Merlot and Cabernet Franc from the Whalebone 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 Merlot and Cabernet Franc wines were kept separate and were gently pressed away from their skins then 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; 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc. The finished wine was bottled in December 2020. Only 470 dozen of 2019 Tapanappa Merlot-Cabernet Franc were made.

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