BRIAN Croser has a history of surrounding himself with some of the most distinguished and influential names in the wine world.
When the Petaluma founder secured a partner for his Croser sparkling wine project in the mid 1980s, it was none other than Bollinger, the esteemed Champagne house.
This gave his fizz label very serious clout and, even though the business has been owned by brewer Lion Nathan for the past decade, Croser’s moniker remains a significant statement to its quality and status.
Little surprise, therefore, that when Croser gathered a new syndicate to anchor his second coming – Croser’s Tapanappa label – that it would again feature an illustrious partnership.
Enter son-in-law Xavier Bizot, whose French family has had an historic association with Bollinger.
Indeed, his late father Christian was Bollinger’s top gun when the original Petaluma deal was inked. The other project partner is the Cazes family from Bordeaux’s Chateau Lynch Bages.
Former banker Xavier Bizot and his bio-technology graduate wife Lucy manage the business, with Croser having responsibility for Tapanappa’s vineyards in the Adelaide Hills, Fleurie Peninsula and Wrattonbully and, of course, the winemaking.
Croser is a passionate believer in developing and nurturing what he promotes as “distinguished vineyard” sites and the critical importance of terroir.
His foundation Tiers vineyard in the Piccadilly Valley of the Adelaide Hills is one, producing some of Australia’s most formidable chardonnays.
Another is the old Koppamurra cabernet sauvignon-shiraz-merlot vineyard at Wrattonbully, just north of Coonawarra.
Croser purchased the site, which he had long coveted, nine years ago, renaming it Whalebone.
The final piece in the jigsaw is the Foggy Hill vineyard on the Fleurieu Peninsula, which delivers Croser outstanding pinot noir material.
The 2007 Wrattonbully Cabernet Shiraz ($51), 2010 Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay and 2010 Fleurieu Pinot Noir (both $39) showcase Croser’s talents in full flight.
Original article can also be found here: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/insider/brian-croser-find…