Earlier this year, The drinks business published a guide celebrating the talent of the winemakers who have scooped the highest accolade of our Global Masters tasting series, which is judged almost exclusively by MWs. Each week we profile the winemakers behind these medal winning wines – the creatives, scientists, mavericks and dreamers who are at the pinnacle of winemaking.
Brian Croser began as a winemaker with Thomas Hardy and Sons in 1969, later attending The University of California at Davis and establishing the Wine Science program at Charles Sturt. By 1976 he had established Petaluma, followed by Argyle winery in Oregon in 1986. Tapanappa was established in 2002 in partnership with Bollinger and the Cazes family of Lynch Bages in Pauillac, and in 2014, the Petaluma winery.
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Tapanappa News, Articles & Reviews
Eden Valley Riesling 2018
Founded on the philosophy of fealty to distinguished single sites, this juicy riesling hails from the meagre granitic souls of the 50yo Bartholomeus Vineyard. Pink grapefruit pulp, bath salts and lemon rind notes cascade along a gentle phenolic waft and juicy acid rails. This is ripe and luscious, eschewing contemporary trends toward earlier harvest windows and brittle acidity. At once pointed and richly flavoured. Finessed, too, while boasting a real propulsion of flavours and textures. Mouthfilling, gratifying and very long.
95 points (Gold)
Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay 2018
The warm season is certainly reflected in this wine, with honey, fig and even brulee, all finely balanced by citrussy acidity. Enjoyable drink now style.
94 points (Silver)
In the spring an old man's fancy lightly turns to cheering us all up. Brian Croser ruminates in the Adelaide Hills.
The annual cycle turns regardless of drought, bushfires and COVID- 19. The wattles are in full blossom, the jonquils and daffodils are flowering, the magnolia and almond blossoms are just emerging and we are pruning Tiers Vineyard.
Cool site, warm year, as Brian Croser pitches it in the accompanying letter - detailed, and insightful as ever - with the sample.
An expressly aromatic take on Pinot Noir: Chinese five spice, sandalwood, something Plum like, a touch of Goji Berry even. Exquisite, haunting, certainly captivating. Supple, lithe - certainly initially so on entry - before a slight firmness and fine grain of tannin sweeps across the palate. A persistent line of flavour carries, seemingly perpetually. Haunting - a word I wanted to introduce, save for the fact I'd already done so.
You kind of have to be really invested in South Australia, to make an endeavour out of planting new Pinot Noir vineyards there. Still, some good wines over the years. Cedar, mint, spiced poached strawberries, cherries, and a little varnish. It’s warm, soft and squishy with sweet vanilla red fruit, some cedar oak flavour, fine grained silty tannin, and a solid finish. It’s flavoursome, but diffuse, and the alcohol warmth chimes in on the finish.
There have been few more influential figures in the modern history of Australian wine than Brian Croser.
“I always had the conviction that Australia’s national geographical attributes, climate and soils, its very stable temperate climate on the edge of the Great Southern Ocean, gives a climate the equivalent of 40-45 degrees North. We should be a major supplier of fine wine to the globe. We don’t have enough consumers to do it just for ourselves”
“My passion has been the right climate and the right soil, the right aspect, to get the best out of each variety”
The article is a good brief history of Brian, full of Brian-isms and the ideas that he has solidly stuck to over the past 40 years.
Note this article was published at https://www.worldoffinewine.com
Merlot makes up 44% of the wine, while cabernet franc is 56%. Always good to see franc holding sway.
When I first tasted this I thought there was too much bubble-gum oak, and for some people there probably is, but as it breathes dust and pure blackcurrant flavours burst forward as rugged, muscular tannin rumbles into place. We have a wine of swagger here, a bold wine but a vital one, with choc-mint characters aplenty along with gravel, seaweed and red licorice. It’s a wine of wealth. It takes its alcohol in its stride. It has quite a run ahead of it.
I think it was Xavier Bizot who had the idea of celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the planting of the Tiers vineyard in the Adelaide Hills in 1979.
He is the son-in-law of Brian Croser, who initially planted the vines for his nascent Petaluma wine operation. Much wine has flowed under the bridge since then, including the sale of Petaluma in 2001 to Asian brewers Lion Nathan and the establishment of the Croser family’s own Tapanappa label in the old Petaluma winery from 2015.
Note this report was also published at https://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/south-australia-2020-unforgettable
Last time I wrote about the emerging 2020 vintage I was branded ‘a denier’, ‘a dinosaur’ and ‘an angry old white man with a tin ear’, among other compliments. Let me begin this final version with a disclaimer: A hotter and drier future cannot be denied or avoided and each of us can and should do our utmost to mitigate that.
Bright and deep ruby-red colour. Loads of toasty oak and green rhubarb, eucalyptus and red licorice. Ripe red strawberries and cranberries wrestle with ambitious tannins and dried herb sinew. Tannins are chalky and ripe. It's a bit of an assault on the senses right now. Needs time and air to soften its stance