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96pt Tapanappa Whalebone Cabernet Shiraz 2013

£41.00 £34.49
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When three of the world's leading fine wine families get together, the results are bound to be sensational!

Tapanappa was created by a partnership of three of the wine world's greatest names - the legendary Aussie Brian Croser (formerly of Petaluma}, Bollinger and the Cazes family of Lynch Bages in Bordeaux.

What persuaded three such names to work together was the sheer quality of the terroir in Wrattonbully. This is old, old land (the vineyard is named after a 35 million year old whale skeleton discovered beneath it) and perfect for growing top quality vines.

Imagine Cabernet from the Left Bank of Bordeaux, blended with great Syrah from the Northern Rhone and given an Aussie twist of ripeness - this is the type of fantasy blend, nigh on impossible in France, that persuaded the Bollinger and Cazes family to create wine here.

The wine is all about terroir, evident in the fine notes of eucalyptus and smoky violet, hallmarks of the Wrattonbully vineyards.

Due to the rarity of this wine, (just 500 cases were made), it remains under the radar, a collector's item - so we are immensely pleased to offer just a few cases today to Vivino customers - we've even managed to wrangle a 15% discount!

About the wine

Tapanappa 2013 Cabernet Shiraz is a big, ripe wine reflecting the warm and dry 2013 vintage. The colour has a medium density and is purple edged, the aroma is of cedar, eucalyptus, spicy cassis, a touch of violet and the smoky, earthy terroir character of the Whalebone Vineyard. The Shiraz plays a key role in filling out the middle palate. The core of the wine is sweet but the finish is of gentle savoury tannin.

2013 was a warm, dry vintage and the result is this big, rich wine. Carefully delivered to the winery, hand-selected grapes were then crushed gently and pumped into small fermentation tubs where they fermented to 32˚C to gain as much colour and flavour as possible from the skins. Then into barriques of pure Nevers and Alliers French oak where the new wine spent its first 20 months maturing to perfection.

Winemaker: Brian Croser
Appellation: Wrattonbully, South Australia

- 96pts, James Halliday
- 94pts, Tyson Stelzer
92pts, Wine Front

Grapes: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Shiraz
Vineyard: Whalebone & Crayeres Vineyards
Cooperage: 15 months in oak barriques
ABV: 14%

About the winery

Tapanappa is an Aboriginal word that, roughly translated, means ‘stick to the path’, and that is what Brian Croser does. He cuts a very direct pathway in the world of wine with a very clear mission to select the most ‘distinguished sites’ with the best climate, soil and geology.

He set up this winery with in partnership with the famous Bollinger family of Champagne and the Cazes family of Bordeaux, thus creating a union of three of the world’s greatest wine families. Blending together the expert knowledge of these three has led to the creation of top quality wine from very specific vineyards in very small quantities. The Tapanappa focus is on three sites: Tiers Vineyard in the Piccadilly Valley (Adelaide Hills) for Chardonnay; Foggy Hill Vineyard on the Fleurieu Peninsula (South Australia) for Pinot Noir, and this, the Whalebone Vineyard in Wrattonbully, for the Cabernet varieties. 

Croser now runs Tapanappa on his own and has a reputation as a very clean-cut winemaker, with control over every stage of the grape’s path from the vine to the vat. Maximum freshness and maximum flavour is the motive. But once everything is under control in the winery, there’s plenty of experimentation with wild yeasts, a range of oak ageing regimes and temperature variations to lift that complexity

About the vineyard

When the Whalebone vineyard was planted way back in 1974 its pioneers little knew how prized this plot would become. Yes it lies just 20km north of the famous-for-Cabernet Coonawarra region, but who was to know there was a 35 million year old whale skeleton lying in a cave underneath the vines? Of course, the whale skeleton itself doesn’t affect the wine quality here, but it marks out the span of an ancient coastline comprised of Oligocene limestone.

Limestone is great for vines, and this particular type is very similar to that found in the hallowed vineyards of St Emilion in Bordeaux. And that’s why it’s so precious – and the perfect site for planting Cabernet and Merlot grapes.

The land here began to rise 0.8 million years ago forming the West Naracoorte Range, hills that rise along the southeast Australian coast. So while it’s no longer lapping at the edge of the Whalebone vineyard, the Great Southern Ocean (now 80km to the west) still provides a tempering influence to the fierce summer temperatures in this part of Australia – and also a gentle humidity – all of which makes for great elegance in the wines. 

About the winemaker

Brian Croser is a great believer in ‘distinguished sites’ for ‘specific grape varieties’. Get the vineyard and climate just right, and your Cabernet, Chardonnay or Pinot Noir will thrive and make the most glorious wine possible. This has been his message for over 40 years now, and Brian’s pioneering work in the Adelaide Hills, Clare Valley and in Coonawarra has proved in abundance that matching a grape to its perfect site really works. 

For Shiraz and Viognier Brian has found a home territory in Mount Barker (South Australia). For Pinot Noir, the trickiest grape of them all, the cool, foggy Fleurieu Penninsula (just 8km from the Great Southern Ocean) works best. And Tapanappa marks the next step in Brian’s ‘lifelong mission to nurture the most expressive and unique terroirs of Australia’: this time he’s found the ideal site for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

Brian is an Australian wine legend. He has been has been famous as a visionary winemaker since the 1970s. Back then he seemed enigmatic and a little misunderstood but today anyone tasting his wines will know themselves lucky to experience the skills of such a brilliant winemaker!


96 Points - James Halliday
"The first thing you notice is the liveliness of it; the second is the easy-going complexity; third is the long chains of tannin. Tobacco and earth run through boysenberry and blackcurrant; smoky oak plays a subtle role."


94 Points - Tyson Stelzer
"Serious wine, this. Ripples with fine, firm tannins, offers a deep core of blue and blackberry fruit, shows some of the noted regional herbal/mint character. Packs lots into its slender frame and draws out the wine through to a long, elegant point. This should cellar exceptionally."

"Soft fruit, very well balanced and extremely well blended leaving even and nice moderate/long length. Very good on own or with savoury food"
4/5 Stars

"Close to a home run. it's a big wine for sure but with this varietals and region combination it couldn't be otherwise and it performs well: rich red juicy fruit; elegant punch; smooth... 4/5 Stars



Other Details

96 Point Tapanappa Cabernet Shiraz - from Legendary Winemaker, Brian Croser
96 point Australian Cab/Shiraz from Legendary Tapanappa Estate
"Serious wine, this...packs lots into its slender frame" - Tyson Stelzer
"Serious wine, this...packs lots into its slender frame" - Tyson Stelzer
"Serious wine, this...packs lots into its slender frame" - Tyson Stelzer
Only 500 cases produced - very limited quantities!
2017-11-12 23:59:59
#review=James Halliday:
#review=Tyson Stelzer:
#stars_review=Vivino Rating:
Free delivery when you order 6 bottles or more - mix and match from all available wines in our Wine Offers!
Ends today - 96 point Australian Rarity From Wine Legend Brian Croser!

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