4 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon were planted in Whalebone Vineyard in 1974 and these old vines provide the fruit for Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard Cabernet Shiraz. The Shiraz for 2010 Cabernet Shiraz was harvested from one hectare of Rob Hooper’s vineyard across the road from Whalebone, which Tapanappa manages.
2010 Tapanappa Cabernet Shiraz is 85% cabernet and 15% Shiraz.
The 2010 vintage was the warmest of the 12 vintages that Tapanappa has owned the Whalebone Vineyard. The heat summation was 1608°C days versus the 14-year average of 1446°C days. Since 2010, 2012 and 2013 accumulated nearly the same warmth and each of these three vintages can be acclaimed as excellent to outstanding.
2010 at Whalebone Vineyard was absent heat waves and most of the extra heat was due to a very warm November, the rest of the season being moderate and close to or cooler than average.
A modest crop of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz (3 tonnes/hectare) was harvested on the 26th and 27th of March about a week ahead of normal because of the warm November.
The condition of the fruit was excellent and the balance of the fruit allowed the production of moderate alcohol wine with an adequate natural acid.
The Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz were hand harvested and delivered to the Tapanappa Winery in the Piccadilly Valley where they were de-stemmed, gently roller crushed and chilled to 2°C in 0.8 tonne fermentation tubs.
A cold maceration of 4 days preceded fermentation. During fermentation the tubs were hand plunged daily for 10 days through peak fermentation temperatures of 32°C and until all sugar had been consumed. At the end of fermentation the tubs were sealed down for a week of extended skin contact.
21 days after harvest the tubs were tipped into a small air bag press and drained and pressed directly to French oak barriques, 70% new, in which the new wine remained on full lees through malo-lactic fermentation.
At the finish of malo-lactic fermentation, the wine was racked off lees and returned to barrique.
The wines were clear racked and blended in February 2012, prior to being returned to barrique until June 2012, a total of 26 months in oak.
Tapanappa Cabernet Shiraz was bottled on the 6th of June 2012 with an in bottle analysis of:
The Taste Of The Wine
2010 was a wonderful warm and dry vintage, perfect conditions for the Whalebone Vineyard terroir to elicit the very best from the old Cabernet vines.
The warm vintage Cabernet from Whalebone has ripe plum and cassis and the Shiraz provides a Eucalypt and anise spice nuance.
The fruit flavours are sweet at the core but the wine retains the elegance, savory balance and refined but determined tannins, which are hallmarks of the Whalebone terroir.
2010 Tapanappa Cabernet Shiraz is the product of a great warm vintage and “is a pure expression of the unique terroir of the Whalebone Vineyard.”