The maestro has not lost his touch. After five decades in the wine industry, pioneer, winemaker and educator Brian Croser is still producing wines of impeccable balance and widespread appeal. Much of his success has come down to a knack for brilliant site selection. Tapanappa acquired the then 30-year-old Whalebone Vineyard in Wrattonbully in 2002, transforming the vineyard management. From a dry, warm vintage, this is a beautifully complex wine with layers of flavours. Think a classic Australian blend with the dark cassis and blackberry fruit flavours from the cabernet in harmony with spice and leather notes from the shiraz. There’s plenty of length here, cellar potential as well, but this is in the zone right now. French oak barriques, 50% new, 50% second fill, play a serious support role without intruding.