Tahbilk Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Old Vines 2016
A generous, expressive yet elegant blend with bay leaf, mint and pepper notes surrounding dark berry, spice and plum fruit flavours.
Producer Note - Established in 1860, Tahbilk is an historic family-owned winery, renowned for their rare aged Marsanne. The estate has the world's largest single holding of the varietal and produces Marsanne from vines established in 1927, which are among the oldest in the world. Tahbilk is known as 'tabilk tabilk' in the language of the Daungwurrung clans, which translates as the 'place of many waterholes'. It perfectly describes this premium viticultural landscape, which is located in the Nagambie Lakes region of Central Victoria. The estate comprises 1,214 hectares, including a seven mile frontage to the Goulburn River. Environmental sustainability is paramount at Tahbilk and in 2013 they became carbon neutral. In 2016, Tahbilk was awarded 'Winery of the Year' by James Halliday.
Vintage - 2016 was a condensed vintage. A dry winter and spring was interrupted by a significant thunderstorm in January which hit some of the old vineyards. Warm weather returned soon after resulting in an early vintage. The reds show typical varietal characters and bright fruit.
Vineyard - Tahbilk's vineyards are grouped along the banks of the Goulburn River and an anabranch of it which flows through the estate. The vines are grown at approximately 134 metres elevation of gently undulating and flat terrain. The soils are sandy loam with ferric oxide content, which vary from very fine sand near the anabranch to denser loams on the plains. The Estate has Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards dating from the 1940's to the 1990's, The oldest of the blocks is the 1949 “Old' Cabernet, planted on very fine red sandy soils. The blocks planted prior to 1996 are on unknown rootstocks, and are in very good health. They are trained on a single wire trellis with a mixture of head and cordon training; all are cane pruned. Tahbilk's vines are sustainably cultivated; composting and mulching takes place which improves soil health by promoting earthworm activity. Mulching helps to control weeds and conserves water, reducing vine stress. The old vines are hand- picked while younger vines are machine harvested.
Winemaking - The grapes were picked based on flavour analysis, at between 12.5 to 14.5° Baumé.The fruit was destemmed, lightly crushed and cooled to 12 to 14°C before being transferred to open vats. The vats were inoculated with selected yeast, plunging took place on the first day with pump-overs from then on. Fermentation slowly warmed up to 25 to 28°C and lasted seven to nine days. The wine was matured in 10 to 100 year old large format French oak barrels for 18 months.
Tasting Note - The old vines deliver a generous and expressive wine, with underlying elegance. Hints of bay leaf, mint and pepper weave seamlessly around dark berry, spice and plum fruits with herbal and cedar oak derived complexity. Perfect with roast beef.
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon 62%, Shiraz 37%, Other Varieties 1%
Winemaker: Alan George, Neil Larson, Brendan Freeman
Awards 95 pts, Decanter, 2019
Sub region: Nagambie Lakes
Body Value: D (A is light, E is full bodied)
Residual Sugar: 0.5%
Contains Sulphites: Yes