Tahbilk Cabernet Sauvignon Nagambie Lakes
Deliciously approachable with distinctive notes of cassis, dark plum and mulberry together with a note of fresh mint.
Producer Note - Established in 1860, Tahbilk is a historic family-owned winery, renowned for its 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 - Good rainfall during the 2016 winter set good crop levels. A temperamental spring saw warmish rainy days, requiring diligent vineyard management to keep the vineyard disease-free. Summer seemed transient, but ripening continued at a steady pace through to a late harvest. Wines show distinct varietal flavours with bright fruit and elegant, fine structures.
Vineyard - Tahbilk's vineyards are grouped along the banks of the Goulburn River and a branch of it that 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. Estate Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards date from the 1940's to the 1990s. The oldest of the blocks is the 1949 “Old' Cabernet, planted on very fine red sandy soils. The vines 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 - Distinctive cassis, dark plum and mulberry notes are enhanced by nuances of Asian 5 spice, mint and touches of mocha. Deliciously approachable now, a ripe tannic grip underpins the fruit and leads to a hint of spice on the persistent finish.
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon 95%, Merlot 2%, Cabernet Franc 1%, Sangiovese 1%, Shiraz 1%
Winemaker: Alister Purbrick
Subregion: Nagambie Lakes
Body Value: C (A is light, E is full-bodied)
Residual Sugar: 0.5%
Contains Sulphites: Yes