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The discovery of a 35 million-year-old whale skeleton in an ancient cave beneath the vines of this Wrattonbully vineyard lead to the re-naming of this old site. Those prehistoric soils now feed Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. The two former form the components of this blend. The Whalebone Vineyard Merlot Cabernet Franc is a wine of energy and depth. This full-bodied iteration of the classic Bordeaux varietal coupling will do well for many years to come given careful cellaring. An excellent wine from a remarkable site, the 2013 vintage received 95 points from James Halliday and 94 points from Campbell Mattinson.
What it Tastes Like
"It’s both fresh and substantial, oaked but brimful of fruit. It’s carved with tannin but the momentum of flavours charges through regardless. It tastes of boysenberry and black cherry, blackcurrant, coffee-cream and spearmint. It’s a full-bodied red but it feels alive. Vigorous good health, you might say. Super." - Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
95 points. "Balance of fruit, acid and tannin is arguably its key trait, though you can see its charismatic personality getting in a humph over such a call. Choc-spearmint helps bring leather, game, twiggy herbs and sheer cassis flavours together." - James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion) 94 points "It’s both fresh and substantial, oaked but brimful of fruit. It’s carved with tannin but the momentum of flavours charges through regardless. It tastes of boysenberry and black cherry, blackcurrant, coffee-cream and spearmint. It’s a full-bodied red but it feels alive. Vigorous good health, you might say. Super." - Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
Vintage Notes 2013 was a warm and dry vintage at the Whalebone Vineyard in Wrattonbully. The 39 year old vines received 40% of average growing season rain at Whalebone Vineyard for vintage 2013. The heat summation for the 2013 growing season at Whalebone was 1602°C days compared to the average for the past 10 years at 1449°C days. Much of the above average heat was attributed to elevated night temperatures and days were moderate with few days above 35°C and no extended heat waves. Winemaking Notes The hand selected bunches of Merlot and Cabernet Franc from Whalebone Vineyard were separately de-stemmed, partially crushed and chilled to 2C into tubs each containing 0.9 tonnes. After a 4-day cold maceration the tubs began fermentation and were hand plunged each day for the 10-day duration of fermentation. The maximum temperature reached at the peak of fermentation was 34C and after the completion of fermentation the tubs were sealed down for a 7-day post fermentation maceration. The tubs of Merlot and Cabernet Franc were separately tipped into a small airbag press and pressed straight to French oak barriques, 90% of which were new and the balance 1 use. Malolactic fermentation occurred in barrique in the spring and barriques were racked off full lees and the wines were sulphured and returned to barrique for another 15 months. In January 2015, the wines were clear racked from barrique and 56% Merlot and 44% Cabernet Franc were blended ready for bottling on 18th of February 2015.
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2030
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