2009 Vintage Conditions
2009 was one of the best vintages of the decade, just cooler than average with no extreme weather events after the disastrous “Black Saturday” heat wave in the first week of February. 2009 was an El Nino drought vintage. The February heat event occurred just pre veraison and was short lived with no detriment to the ripening processes of the Shiraz at the Hooper Vineyard, which is just opposite Tapanappa’s Whalebone Vineyard at Joanna in the south of the Wrattonbully region.
Tapanappa has leased the one-hectare of Shiraz on top of the 37 million year old limestone ridge from Rob and Dianna Hooper since the Whalebone Vineyard Shiraz was destroyed by frost in successive vintages of 2007 and 2008. In 2009, the Hooper Shiraz was hand harvested on the 6th of April, more than a week later than normal at a crop yield of 5 tonnes/hectare. The harvest analysis of the 2009 Hooper Shiraz was pH 3.36, Total Acid 5.98gpl and Sugar of 25 Brix.
The Hooper Shiraz was delivered to the winery in the Piccadilly Valley where it was de-stemmed, partially crushed, chilled to 2°C and sealed down in 1 tonne fermentation tubs. After 3 days of cold maceration Tapanappa’s own strains of yeast and malo-lactic bacteria were added and the fermentation was allowed to start.
The tubs were hand plunged each day until the fermentation finished after 10 days. The fermented wine was left in contact with the skins for a further 11 days in the sealed tubs. The finished wine was lightly pressed directly to barriques after 21 days in the fermentation tubs.
The 2009 Tapanappa Wrattonbully Shiraz remained on full yeast lees in French oak barriques (50% new) until malo-lactic fermentation was complete in the spring. After malo-lactic the wine was clear racked, lightly sulphured and returned to barrique. After 20 months in barrique the wine was finally clear racked and bottled on the 18th of May 2011.
The analysis of the 2009 Tapanappa Wrattonbully Shiraz is: Alcohol 14.6%, pH 3.39, Total Acid 6.3gpl, SO2 100ppm and Volatile Acid 0.79gpl.
Fully ripe Shiraz from this cool vintage in the Hooper vineyard has the varietal flavour and aroma of blackberry and anise and the terroir nuances of Eucalypt and dusty earth. Dry and savoury, the 2009 Tapanappa Wrattonbully Shiraz is defined by its refined but significant tannins.