Quite different in many ways is Croser, who never quite extricated himself from his former life at Petaluma, still waking up to see the winery a short walk away from his back door and hearing the trucks hurtling down his private road at all hours of the night during vintage.
Croser launched his Tapanappa label in 2002. While the reputation of Petaluma was made through Clare Valley Riesling, Coonawarra Cabernet and Adelaide Hills Chardonnay, it is only the Tapanappa Chardonnay that still shares regional roots with Petaluma. The robust Wrattonbully Cabernet Shiraz, which is also partnered by a Merlot and Shiraz, is a fascinating example of a classic Australian blend that despite its powerful frame manages to retain great elegance and finesse. The newest addition to the Tapanappa range is the beautiful, scented Pinot Noir, grown on the Fleurieu Peninsula which to date is unheralded for this notoriously difficult variety. And although it’s early days in regards to the history of the region and age of the vineyard, it seems entirely possible that the Foggy Hill Pinot Noir may one day be the crowning achievement in Croser’s long and illustrious career. Perhaps you can teach old dogs new tricks.
Tapanappa 2008 Chardonnay
A tremendous wine epitomising the modern, finer styles that are reinventing Australian chardonnay. Stylish and pure with layers of citrus, apple and oatmeal, it opens up beautifully in the mouth punctuated by fresh, pure acidity and beautiful length. Lovely now, it will easily improve for a decade.