The grapes to produce Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz “Old Vines” Tahbilk were picked based on flavour analysis, at between 12.5 to 14.5° Baumé.The Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz “Old Vines” Tahbilk 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.
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 handpicked while younger vines are machine harvested.
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 the winery and in 2013 they became carbon neutral. In 2016, Tahbilk was awarded ‘Winery of the Year’ by James Halliday.