Wine of the week – 4 stars – Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard Merlot 2005

Author: Ralph Kyte-Powell
Source: The Age
Review Date: Jun 2010

How many great Australian merlots are there? Not many, but this wine points the way. From one of the first dedicated merlot vineyards in Australia, planted in 1974 at Wrattonbully on South Australia’s Limestone Coast, it opens with a subtle, complex nose of plum syrup, loganberries, sweet herbs and spice. About 70 percent of this wine is aged in new barrels, and oak influence is definite but well balanced, showing as a savoury, smoky seasoning. The medium-bodied palate is silky in feel, fresh, ripe and tangy in flavour, with dry, cedary, slightly astringent tannins giving some bordeaux-like structure.

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