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Outstanding - 2005 Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard Wrattonbully Cabernet Shiraz

Lester Jesberg
Review Date: 
Vol. 24 No. 2 - June 2008

The vineyard from which this wine comes was planted in 1974, and until recently was known as Koppamurra. I think it has already proven to be one of Australia's great sites, and this wine reinforces my view. There are many takes on the classic Australian blend of cabernet sauvignon and shiraz, but to my mind the ground breaking was done by the Mildara Yellow Labels of the 1950s and 1960s. A strong Coonawarra component leant an element of elegance to the blend, but we don't see many wines today like them. This Tapanappa stirred fond memories. It's a complete, multifaceted wine that admirably demonstrates the inadequacy of reds that depend on brute force and high ripeness levels. Neither does the Tapanappa depend on primary fruit. There's a beguiling complexity and savoury dryness that gently rein in the flavours of the grapes, yet don't bring them to a halt. This will develop into a superb wine over the next couple of decades.