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.
Winter rainfall returned to average levels which continued into spring, but tapered off, thus irrigation took place from budburst through to the end of vintage. The season looked particularly promising until a late, severe frost in mid-October hit delicate young growth in many of the low-lying plains vineyards which are situated away from the water and the native tree cover of the Tahbilk billabongs. A very hot, dry summer resulted in an early start to the harvest. Despite the hot, dry summer the whites have delicacy, crispness and definite varietal character.
Tahbilk’s vineyards are grouped along the banks of the Goulburn River and an anabranch of it which flows through the estate. The water has a tempering influence on the climate. 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 origin of the older block vines is unknown but ampelography inspection suggests a mixture of varieties. The blocks planted prior to 1986 are on ARG rootstocks and are in very good health. The spur and cane-pruned vines are spaced at 2.1 x 3 metres and are trained according to a mixture of head and cordon methods. This wine is named after the practice of cutting the canes, where the fruiting cane is detached from the vine. The bunches of grapes are left to hang prior to harvest, drying the fruit which concentrates the flavours and sugars, resulting in a luscious wine.
The hand-picked grapes were handled reductively. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at cool temperatures with selected neutral and aromatic yeasts and lasted 10 days. Fermentation was arrested by chilling to 2°C at approximately 120 grams residual sugar resulting in this lusciously sweet wine. Bottled early to preserve the purity of fruit.
Opulent citrus and tropical fruit characters are complemented by lush marmalade, nutty and honeysuckle notes on a richly opulent palate, refreshed by a mineral-like acidity.
Marsanne 97%, Viognier 2%, Chardonnay 1%