2016 was a very dry and much warmer than average El Nino dominated vintage at Tapanappa’s Whalebone Vineyard in Wrattonbully. Only 50% of average rainfall was recorded for the growing season, the driest ever. Flowering occurred in warm dry sunny conditions, promoting early fruit set.
2016 vintage was the warmest ever at Whalebone Vineyard at 1801°C-days versus the average at 1479°C-days. The very warm dry vintage fully ripened the 85% Cabernet Sauvignon component at Whalebone Vineyard to a relatively high sugar level and rich ripe flavours. Similarly, the 15% Shiraz component from the Shining Rock Vineyard at Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills is from a very warm and dry vintage in that vineyard.
The Whalebone Cabernet Sauvignon and the Shining Rock Shiraz were both harvested at the end of March.
The hand selected bunches of Cabernet Sauvignon from Whalebone Vineyard and the Shiraz from the Shining Rock Vineyard were destemmed, partially crushed and chilled to 2°C into 0.9 tonne tubs.
After a 4-day cold maceration, the tubs were inoculated with Tapanappa’s own yeast and were hand plunged each day of the 10-day fermentation. The maximum temperature reached was 34°C and after the completion of fermentation the tubs were sealed down for a 7-day post fermentation maceration.
The tubs of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz were separately tipped into a small airbag press and pressed straight to French oak barriques, 50% of which were new and the balance 1 use.
After 20 months in oak barriques, the wines were clear racked from barrique and 85% of Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Shiraz were blended for bottling in February 2018.
The post bottling analysis of Tapanappa 2016 Whalebone Vineyard Cabernet Shiraz is
The Taste of the Wine
2016 Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard Cabernet Shiraz is one of the ripest and most complex flavoured vintages from this unique distinguished site. The aroma is of blackberry and cassis with no leafiness and an earthy, Moroccan leather bouquet typical of the Whalebone terroir. The flavours are rich and strong with an underlying fresh varietal complexity including the spiciness of Cabernet and the fresh leather and anise of Shiraz. The tannins are at once grainy and substantial providing a savoury and long finish.
This is an excellent example of Australia’s own red blend and “a pure expression of the unique Whalebone Vineyard terroir.”