Wines to Watch

Author: Campbell Mattinson
Source: Gourmet Traveller WINE
Review Date: Jun 2010

Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard Cabernet Shiraz

Despite the fanfare, I didn’t like the first release of this wine from the 2003 vintage. The new project of Australian wine legend Brian Croser, it had come from mature vines at Wrattonbully in South Australia, and was backed by the financial and intellectual might of leading Bordeaux winery Chateau Lynch-Bages.

If ever a new wine was going to be excellent, it was this one. Yet it seemed to me to be clumsy, over-oaked and too high in alcohol. Maybe I was overly optimistic, but I was certainly expecting more.

The new 2004 Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard Cabernet Shiraz delivers that “more”. A superb wine that will age well over the long-term, it is full of dense, dark fruit, yet it is firm and long too, its structure and power sending out all the right quality signals.

The flavours are mostly in the cigar-box, blackcurrant and chocolate spectrum, but there’s a refinement that pushes it beyond the ordinary. Tapanappa is suddenly a big name in quality Australian red wine, and I am now wholly on board.

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