Brian Croser is undoubtedly the Godfather of Adelaide Hills Chardonnay, first planting the region to the variety some 40-odd years ago.
Broad and powerful wine, instantly you feel seduced by its quite intoxicating allure of stonefruit, citrus and oak. The palate suggests sandalwood meets a subtle cinnamon tinged spice. Has substance, yet also a gentle flowing length across the length of the palate.
As ever balance is key, and that elegant wine combined with acidity will see this hold well. At ten dollars cheaper than Shaw + Smith's M3 it's a very attractive premium regional offering.
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Something akin to a block level wine off the Fleurieu's Foggy Hill Vineyard. The Definitus strip being a sub-Ridge formed where ferruginuous sandstone comes close to the surface. The strip also marks a delineation between two rows of two Bernard Clones (115 and 117, planted in 2003).
Highly perfumed, violets, sour cherry, slight spirited/lifted note. Starts segueing to black fruit hints, as though they're being summoned from the wine's depths.
Light, fine tannin, makes its presence known initially. Carries with it a dark presentation, earthy and coffee grounds like in profile.
Latterly it asserts itself, dark and pronounced, it's tight and closed at this juncture - cellar for a minimum of five years, drink over a further five to fifteen.
This is smoky and savoury, scented with dried herb and dried flowers like the regular Foggy Hill, but with a little more density, flesh and concentration. Very savoury and quite delicious, the finish long and harmonious.
Nice depth to the colour. instantly smoky, peaty, charry nose. Cloves and rosemary wrestle with graphite and a charming tease of mulberry fruit. Tannins are chalky. This needs time
Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
This is the oldest of the three Tiers Vineyard blocks, with 2ha planted in '70 of what Croser calls the OF clones, which has a history to make Conan Doyle happy. It's a Californian clone that was eradicated there because of leaf roll virus - the cuttings were not infected when Croser brought them to Australia. The vinification was the same as for the 1.5m, but this is decidedly more complex than its sibling, confidently filling the mouth with balanced fruit flavours.
96 points (2031)
Deep, dark colour with a subtle purple trace, and the bouquet is earthy, woodsy, savoury and dry. The wine is rich and soft and ample, as well as savoury and strong on drying, powdery tannins. Oak is sitting on the wine somewhat; it may just need more time to emerge. The fruit is certainly concealed at this stage.
A ripe, rounded, fleshy red with accents of sweet-vanilla and coconut. Juicy, supple and warming. Decant well before serving to
harmonise the elements.
Deep, rich red with a tinge of brick-red in the colour, the bouquet strong on eucalyptus with menthol and linament notes. It's full-
bodied and rich, fleshy and almost opulent in the mouth, the palate delivering intense Campari-like bitter- herb flavours. It's big, round
and fruit-sweet, with plenty of supple tannin. (69% merlot, 31% cabernet franc)
Perenially exemplary Australian take on a classic right-bank (Bordeaux) blend.
Quite sullen, sitting there under a heavy oak shroud. There are lighter elements of spice and toast in that oak frame, slowly lifting to reveal glimpses of blackberry, tobacco, more seasoning.
Darker manifestation altogether, meaty and with a bitter chocolate element. It sits fine on the palate, still delicate - even for it sub 15% stature - subtle hints of vanilla, from the 50% new French oak.
Fine tannins linger, but it certainly is a wine of terroir from a warmer and drier vintage. It needs some time for the wine to settle further into itself, the gentle length an indication of that which will reward the patient.
The description of the 2019 harvest is worthy of a politician or two.
The most startling aspect of the 2019 vintage in the Piccadilly Valley and to a lesser extent Wrattonbully, is the very low yield. Foggy Hill on the Fleurieu Peninsula yielded to expectation.
The low yield in the Piccadilly Valley was mainly because of the cold, windy and wet weather at the time of flowering (end of November), interfering with fruit set.