Medium to deep red colour, with a trace of purple; the aromas are minty and fresh, with raspberry and dried-herb undercurrents. The palate is very soft, the tannins almost fluffy in texture, and the wine is starting to show the positive softening and mellowing effects of a little time under cork. The finish powers on and on and is clean and balanced, with ample soft tannins. Very good indeed.
Drink: 2014 - 2032
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Very fresh, tight, pristine fruit aroma of nectarine, meringue and cashew nut, the acidity is ferociously high and dominates the palate. It cries out for food. A very racy, fine wine of terrific length. I love the bouquet.
Drink: 2014 - 2020
All it needs is time...
Once the surprisingly sweet toasty oak integrates here this is going to be superb. It's easily the biggest boned Tapa Pinot yet, but that weight and volume enhances the appeal. The flesh and swagger underneath suggests plenty of greatness to come. 18/20, 93/100++
From a warmer than average year and the Tiers Vineyard. Barrel ferment occurred in 30% new French oak. No malolactic fermentation. Brian Croser worked his magic.
It’s at once a bold wine and a subtle wine, which sounds incongruous, but there’s full-on scents of sandalwood from oak influence, set amongst ripe stone fruit and really pretty lemon blossom/floral character. The calculated brute with the purity of fruit. Across the palate a wine that shines with the curves of oak fermentation and maturation, but reveals pin point detail in light citrussy acidity, a touch of brine-like minerality and a fleeting lick of smooth, vanilla, wood influence. It’s compact yet powerful, full across the mouth but refreshing. A dazzling wine in some respects. A wine that needs time too. Brilliant, really.
Rated: 94 Points
Drink: 2014 - 2024
Arguably the best Tapanappa Pinot Noir to date. The bouquet is complex, with a light touch of oak. The fruit takes in both berries and plums, and the silky palate is as well balanced and focused as it is long.
Drink By: 2019
Holding its vivid colour in impressive fashion; if the late Len Evans were alive, he would be crowing loudly at Croser, pointing to the way this blend works so synergistically; the tapestry of predominantly black fruits has shafts of red coming through to shine a light on the way the ripe, but fine, tannins form a pattern through the fruit profile. Most striking is the effortless way the wine imparts the vast amount of flavour it has.
Drink By: 2040
Bright, youthful crimson; the bouquet is particularly fragrant, with red fruits, rose petal and cedar aromas; the palate moves into another gear, with intensely flavoured redcurrant, cigar box and a hint of earth ex the oak; the length and persistence of the palate and its aftertaste are striking.
Rating: 97 points
Drink By: 2035
The strictly disciplined winemaking credo of Brian Croser has worked very well indeed with this wine; the intensity of the varietal fruit expression has been perfectly captured, with no winemaker artefact anywhere on the horizon. With the benefit of screwcap, bred to stay with absolute certainty. The price is very modest given the pedigree of this wine.
Drink to 2023
A 64/36% blend matured for 22 months in 70% new French oak. Bright, light hue, still youthful; a complex wine from start to finish, the bouquet expressive, the medium-bodied palate with many messages of savoury red fruits, black olive and briar, corralled by fine, but persistent, tannins.
Drink by 2024
A trio of reviews from Jancis Robinson
Tapanappa, Whalebone Vineyard 2009 Wrattonbully, 16.5+
“Mid blackish ruby. Firm and meaty on the nose. Actually it does not taste dominated by Cabernet. Subtle and appetising. Still with tannins in evidence but very fine textured and warming but certainly not hot on the finish. Cries out for food. Clearly made with minimal additions. Long and vibrant. Still quite young and earthy.”
Tapanappa, Whalebone Vineyard Merlot/Cabernet Franc 2009 Wrattonbully, 17
“Bright ruby red. Subtle, savoury, earthy notes. Really very restrained for an Australian red! Perhaps the slightest of minty hints? Very cool, sophisticated, dry finish. Super-appetising and quite youthful. Some palates may even criticise it for being too light. Lots more still to come. Hint of tarmacadam on the finish.”