Tapanappa Wrattonbully 2007 Cabernet Shiraz

2007 Vintage Conditions

The 2007 vintage at Joanna, Wrattonbully, was notable for two reasons:

  • A frost decimated the vineyard in October and the harvest was exceptionally small.
  • Warm conditions in January and February combined with the small crop, accelerated veraison and harvest.

2007 was the warmest vintage at Tapanappa’s Joanna, Wrattonbully site since the vineyard was purchased at the end of 2002. The heat accumulated from October 2006 to April 2007, the growing season, was 1534°C Days versus the average of 1431°C Days.

There were no heat waves during the 2007 growing-season and all months including the critical ripening months of March and April were on average except January (+ 31°Days) and February (+ 64°Days).

The Whalebone Vineyard Shiraz is in the lowest part of the terrain and the crop was completely destroyed by the frost. We approached our neighbour Rob Hooper to obtain the use of some Shiraz vines on the top of the rise opposite Whalebone Vineyard. Tapanappa managed and purchased the hectare of Hooper Shiraz for the rest of the 2007 season to enable the production of a Tapanappa Wrattonbully Cabernet Shiraz.

The Cabernet Sauvignon from Whalebone Vineyard and the Shiraz from Hooper’s Vineyard were harvested in the third week of March almost three weeks earlier than normal.

Winemaking Notes

The Whalebone Cabernet and the Hooper Shiraz were completely ripe at harvest with sugars at 24 to 26 Brix and natural acids at 5gpl. The pH’s of the juices were moderate at 3.6.

The very ripe fruit was hand harvested and transported to the Petaluma winery in the Piccadilly Valley where it was de-stemmed, crushed and chilled to 1 tonne open fermentation tubs. A four-day cold maceration preceded the onset of fermentation, which took 8 days with daily hand plunging and reached a maximum temperature of 35°C.

The fermentation tubs were sealed down for a post-fermentation maceration of a further 9 days. The fermentation tubs were gently pressed in a small air-bag press and the turbid wine was immediately gravitated to French oak barriques (70% new) to undergo malo-lactic fermentation.

After malo-lactic fermentation the wine was racked off gross lees and a minimal dose of SO2 was added. A further two rackings over the twenty months in French oak barriques clarified the wines which were blended, given a light egg white fining and put into bottle without filtration on the 12th of March 2009.

The wine is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Whalebone Vineyard and 30% Shiraz from Hooper’s Vineyard.

The in-bottle analysis is: alcohol 13.7%, pH 3.68, Total Acid 5.71gpl, Volatile Acid 0.6gpl, SO2 82ppm, Sugar 0.42gpl.

The Wine

2007 Tapanappa Wrattonbully Cabernet Shiraz has the very ripe fruit flavours and texture of this exceptionally small and early vintage. Despite the ripeness the alcohol is in balance and the silky ripe tannins meld with the ripe fruit flavours.

The 2007 Tapanappa Cabernet Shiraz retains the elegant structure and the earthy, anise and Eucalypt smoke flavours of the Joanna, Wrattonbully terroir.

2007 Tapanappa Wrattonbully Cabernet-Shiraz is “a pure expression of the unique Joanna Wrattonbully terroir”.

Winemaker: Brian Croser

Bottled on 12th of March 2009. Only 500 cases made.

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