Sky’s the Limit

Author: Tom Cannavan
Review Date: Jun 2010

Tapanappa (Australia) Whalebone Vineyard Cabernet Shiraz 2004

Tapanappa’s Whalebone Vineyard of 30-year-old vines lies just north of Coonawarra in the Wrattonbully region. This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Shiraz (20%) and Cabernet Franc (10%) spends 18 months in all new French oak barriques. The nose has a haunting, exotic spice perfume of Sandalwood and incense, with a background of soft, crushed cashew and almond. A core of dense, ripe, focused black fruit comes through powerfully, with a ripe cherry edge and cool, mint-humbug and eucalyptus nuances. On the palate there’s a glorious rush of concentrated, hugely ripe fruit, with a glossy, fat, black fruit weight and a swirling smokiness. A core of acidity sears through this wine, a fleshy, plummy, depth and a very finely-grained tannic structure. It is exuberant yet restrained and elegant, and is a perfect step forward from the very impressive but slightly too oaky first vintage in 2003. Outstanding stuff.

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