2013 was a warm and dry vintage at the Whalebone Vineyard in Wrattonbully. The 39 year old vines received 40% of average growing season rain at Whalebone Vineyard for vintage 2013.
The heat summation for the 2013 growing season at Whalebone was 1602°C days compared to the average for the past 10 years at 1449°C days.
Much of the above average heat was attributed to elevated night temperatures and days were moderate with few days above 35°C and no extended heat waves.
The hand selected bunches of Merlot and Cabernet Franc from Whalebone Vineyard were separately de-stemmed, partially crushed and chilled to 2C into tubs each containing 0.9 tonnes.
After a 4-day cold maceration the tubs began fermentation and were hand plunged each day for the 10-day duration of fermentation.
The maximum temperature reached at the peak of fermentation was 34C and after the completion of fermentation the tubs were sealed down for a 7-day post fermentation maceration.
The tubs of Merlot and Cabernet Franc were separately tipped into a small airbag press and pressed straight to French oak barriques, 90% of which were new and the balance 1 use.
Malolactic fermentation occurred in barrique in the spring and barriques were racked off full lees and the wines were sulphured and returned to barrique for another 15 months.
In January 2015, the wines were clear racked from barrique and 56% Merlot and 44% Cabernet Franc were blended ready for bottling on 18th of February 2015.