The establishment of Tapanappa could be the most exciting thing to ever happen to South Australian pinot noir. After following up his first vintage (2007) with a much improved wine from 2008 (94pts), Brian Croser has set the bar even higher with his best release yet from 2009. The future for Tapanappa’s young Foggy Hill vineyard looks very bright indeed.
Although not astoundingly complex in its youth, the fruit component of Tapanappa’s 2009 Foggy Hill is very bright, pure and clear as day. Like a baby it’s a joy to behold, opening to a controlled whiff of cherry kernels augmented by light spice undertones and floral overtones, with a tight interlocking of fresh and fragrant cedar/vanilla oak adding grainy, savoury pizzazz. The palate’s considerably more silken, supple, finer and elegant than the 2008 (which I actually drunk last week), with a level of medium-bodied, arousing touch that slows things down a notch in the bedroom like a good lover deserves. It’s surprisingly patient, under spoken and gentle, but its graceful demeanor conceals a rich depth of earth, leather and cherry accents built up by a dry and dusty, lithe backbone that’s as sensuous as it is assertive. Humble balance is the real key here, as everything falls into place with the timing of an orchestra.
Having reached an air of majestic bliss, elegance and textural precision I’ve never encountered in an 18 month old pinot noir from South Australia before, Brian Croser has created a rare, true enthusiasts South Australian pinot noir. Drink to 2019.