A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (84%) and Shiraz (16%), the fruit is dazzling, framed up by some exquisite oak treatment.
It's fairly loaded up with cassis, plum, and beyond that to underlying cedary notes, hints of violet. Multi-faceted, the fruit is very prominent, but return each time to find a little extra something, the wine revealing itself further.
Silken smooth on the plate, nigh effortless. Abundance of cassis here too, with peppery hints and eucalypt, supported with good acid set against a savoury edge. Tannin is ultra-fine, classy one could say. Seems a pleasure to drink now, yet cellaring well will certainly reward the patient.
94 - Outstanding
Please note: Our cellar door will be closed Thursday 26th of September for a private event.
Whalebone Vineyard Latest Reviews
2009 Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard Merlot Cabernet Franc Brian Croser, CEO and winemaker for Tapanappa, has been a much-respected friend of Winewise since our very early days. His great contribution to Australian wine via Petaluma and other avenues is part of our history, but he may well be doing his best work as a “small” winemaker at Tapanappa in Wrattonbully. Has he become more of an adventurous, free spirit? Maybe Brian will get back to me on that. The wine? Well, it’s very, very good indeed. The plumminess of perfectly ripe merlot shows through, but there’s much more to this red than just fruit. It has the tobacco leaf notes, length and savouriness we encounter in fine Bordeaux wines. It’s European “dry” rather than Australian “sweet”, and it is a great cellaring proposition, even though it’s under cork.
The 60/40% blend was cold-soaked for four days prior to fermentation commencing, hand-plunged with a peak of 32?C, then macerated for seven days post fermentation; thereafter 20 months in French oak (30% new) before being bottled unfiltered. The colour is vivid purple-crimson, the medium-bodied palate exceptionally supple and smooth, the tannins silky and fine. A truly lovely wine.
The late Len Evans would doubtless have taken great delight in pointing out the quality of this 70/30% blend, used in the first Petaluma Coonawarra, but not thereafter. This has been made in the same way as the Merlot Cabernet Franc, but is fuller-bodied, with more obvious texture, and will benefit from more time.
Made from 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, this is an expressive, mouthcoating 'Cheval Blanc' blend of resonant subtlety and drinkability, grown on the limestones of Wrattonbully. The site is less wine-prone than Coonawarra - a factor in the wine's comeliness.
Drink 2013 - 2025
The 2008 vintage was tagged by all as terrific, this one will achieve even higher acclaim. Dark chocolate, coffee and spiced plum infused across a great red.
Food: Peking duck
My advice is to move fast to secure a bottle or three of this limited new fine wine release from South Aussie winemaker Brian Croser. A striking shiraz that will stand tall for years to come.
Food: Smoked duck
A rich, generous, complex red wine brimming with dark fruit, spice, some floral notes and full-flavoured tannins. Perfect to warm you up in the dark, cold depths of winter. Enjoy with hearty dishes.
There are many reasons this wine could add something to your meal. Tapanappa is winemaker Brian Croser’s venture in which he aims to make very special wines by matching all the component parts exceptionally well – climate, soil, geology, varieties with impeccable winemaking and viticulture. The Whalebone vineyard was planted in 1974 and is so named because of the whale skeleton found in a limestone cave on the property, a reminder of the scale and age of Australia’s geological history. After three decades of struggling on the site, the vines have finally penetrated the deeper limestone layers to extract the nutrients and moisture that help to make such a significant wine. It’s a rich, heady, complex wine brimming with aromas of blackcurrant, spice, violets, earth and minerality, all woven together with acidity and freshness.
It's testament to the underlying quality here, that the wine was both approachable now, yet also imparted a sense of where it may well be over its life.
Opens with a plummy mix, supported by an oak framework that provides its longevity. Savoury, cedary with elevated notes being offered by the Cabernet Franc. Malty, chocolate oak adds to the mix, the aromatics swirling, layered and inviting.
The palate yields dense, chewy tannin; spicy black olive tapenade is in the frame too. Fruit is a consistent theme throughout, threading its way around an inherently spicy core. The finish is long, savoury with fine tannin. Black and dense. One for the long haul.
94 - Outstanding