Intoxicating. Perhaps the laziest descriptor there is. Yet, it conveys the allure of premium Adelaide Hills, the stonefruit and citrus aromatics supported by the nuances of premium oak that served - or stored - it so well.
Initially subtle, of guile, yet it soon blossoms - nigh balloons - across the palate. Subtlety of flavour, married to a fine vein of acid, the omnipresent oak and with a certain presence that conveys quality.
Seemingly a hard one to pin down, undoubted quality, yet I kept coming back to that initial subtlety as it introduces itself. Poised, balanced, and before you know it, it's made itself at home and you've consumed a glass.
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A very rich, full-bodied wine, much bigger and more generous than the 2017, a real mouthful. Almost opulent. Very approachable already and possibly the most full-bodied Tiers to date. (Second-warmest vintage ever; 575 dozens made)
A very fragrant, aromatic, cool-year bouquet; a wine of great subtlety and delicacy. Great poise and intensity, as well as finesse. Harmony, refinement and persistence. Lemons aplenty. The palate is seamless. An outstanding wine, promising more in the future. (Very cool season, latest ever vintage. 350 dozens made.)
There are four hectares of pinot noir growing on the Foggy Hill vineyard; this is from a one-hectare strip. It’s planted at a density of 4444 vines/hectare, using clones 115 and 777, all planted on rootstock. It’s light, firm and immensely spicy. Roots, leaves, earth and wood combine with strawberry, red cherry, beet and violets. There’s a geranium-like character here; it’s a complex wine, inherently complex. Its charms are clean and yet its sleeves are well stocked; it has a lot more in store for the patient, cork permitting. Impressive, this wine is.
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.
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.