Wines like this don’t come our way very often. Not only is it complex and fragrant, showing red fruits and dusty tobacco leaf aromas, it wraps its compelling flavours in the finest of tannins. Definitely one of the wines of the year.
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Whalebone Vineyard Latest Reviews
Merlot and cabernet franc from 1974 plantings. 66/34 blend. Worthy of a spot in the jewellery drawer of Australian wine – you could argue.
This is a swashbuckler.
Tannic, herbal, chocolatey, rich, elegant and more. Warm too, pushing it, no doubting it. But so beautifully etched with tannin and so well splayed with complex cigar box, gumleaf and spice notes. Plenty of rumble under its bonnet.
Drink: 2015 - 2030
Tiers Vineyard 2013 Chardonnay
An extremely intense and focused wine; the fruit is a blend of citrus, stone fruit and apple; the barrel ferment inputs and oak maturation have been swallowed by the fruit. Needs several years to relax and open for business.
Drink by 2028
Foggy Hill Vineyard 2013 Pinot Noir
Destemmed, crushed and chilled for a 4-day cold soak, 10 months in French barriques (30% new). Light colour, but with a bright hue; the flowery bouquet of spice, rose petals and small red fruits is followed by a light, perfectly balanced palate, the promised red fruits duly delivered; the finish is long and in lockstep with all that has preceded it.
Drink by 2023
Still has excellent crimson-purple colour; has spent close on 3 years making its way into bottle, an especially long time for a blend such as this, but it clearly needed it; there is a complex interplay between cedar, cigar box, blackcurrant, dried herbs and a persistent tattoo of fine-grained tannins on the very long palate.
2013 Tapanappa Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay
A refined and subtle Chardonnay, the elegance of this wine is reminiscent of the great examples found in Burgundy. With stone fruit and melon on the nose, it has a crisp, dry finish that is both a little nutty and pleasantly savory.
2010 Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard Cabernet Shiraz
Dark and brooding, there’s a powerful ripe-plum scent to this wine. Cabernet can be a bit hollow on its own and the Shiraz adds a little spice and improves the texture. There’s sweet fruit but the overall impression is one of a saline dryness.
appealed to Bennie. "A pretty but rich perfume of stewed fruits, plum and prunes with some cinnamon and mara- schino cherry," he said. "A fleshy palate with ample dark fruits and tinged with choc-mint flavour. Chalky tannins, finishes fresh and peppery. It's a beefy expression of the varieties, but done well. Caillard concluded, "A substantial wine with a long way to go."
Very appealing red and dark fruit aromas combine with smoky, toasty savoury notes and hints of dried herbs. Complex, subtly powerful with smooth, effortless tannins. Impressive.
Medium to deep red colour, with a trace of purple; the aromas are minty and fresh, with raspberry and dried-herb undercurrents. The palate is very soft, the tannins almost fluffy in texture, and the wine is starting to show the positive softening and mellowing effects of a little time under cork. The finish powers on and on and is clean and balanced, with ample soft tannins. Very good indeed.
Drink: 2014 - 2032
Holding its vivid colour in impressive fashion; if the late Len Evans were alive, he would be crowing loudly at Croser, pointing to the way this blend works so synergistically; the tapestry of predominantly black fruits has shafts of red coming through to shine a light on the way the ripe, but fine, tannins form a pattern through the fruit profile. Most striking is the effortless way the wine imparts the vast amount of flavour it has.
Drink By: 2040
Bright, youthful crimson; the bouquet is particularly fragrant, with red fruits, rose petal and cedar aromas; the palate moves into another gear, with intensely flavoured redcurrant, cigar box and a hint of earth ex the oak; the length and persistence of the palate and its aftertaste are striking.
Rating: 97 points
Drink By: 2035