WINE REGION: Nagambie Lakes
FRUIT SOURCE: Tahbilk Estate
GRAPE VARIETY: Cabernet Sauvignon 51%, Shiraz 49%
MATURATION: A mix of new and older French and American Oak for 18 months.
The 2018 growing season was dry and warm and perfect for growing premium wine grapes. The winter of 2017 started with a very dry June and below average rains in July and August. Spring continued the theme with less than half the average long term rainfall, and finished with an unseasonably warm November. The vines loved the favourable weather, growing large, healthy canopies and setting good bunch numbers – ideal for optimal yields. Vineyard operations focused on trimming to maintain a balanced canopy, and irrigation to ensurethe vines had adequate water and nutrients. Vintage started early February and progressed very smoothly and although it remained warm, cooler nights kept a lid on sugar accumulation so that ripening progression was close to perfect. 2018 promises to be a very good year, the whites have clear varietal definition and crisp fruit flavours, and the reds are bright and varietal, with concentration and depth.
“Characteristic of its aged vine sourcing, this 2018 blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon and 49% Shiraz is deeply packed with layers of dark and red berry fruits that are teased out with eucalypt, Chinese five-spice, earth and dark chocolate notes. Herbal and cedar hints from time spent in American and French oak taking that complexity further, with savoury tannins on the finish giving structure to a future holding great promise out to 2030/2032.”
ABOUT THE WINE:
Established in 1860 and purchased by the Purbrick family in 1925, Tahbilk is located in the premium central Victorian region of Nagambie Lakes. The quintessentially Australian blending of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz saw initial releases at Tahbilk from the 1957 and 1958 vintages under Eric Purbrick’s tutelage, believed to be the first such ‘Estate Grown’ blends in Australia. It was not until 14 years later that Eric’s son John resurrected the blend that saw four vintages released in the 1970s and a further two in the 1980s. The Estate is blessed with significant older vineyard blocks with, among others, Shiraz dating back to 1860 and 1933, and Cabernet Sauvignon to 1949. It is selected of these aged vine plantings that are the primary source for the ‘OId Vines’ Cabernet Shiraz when, from the 2010 vintage, the blend returned and is now a permanent fixture of Tahbilk’s premium Reds portfolio. With a contributing average vine age of over 35 years they set a new standard for such releases from the Estate.