Brian Croser has made a beautiful Adelaide Hills chardonnay, delicate and understated but with great flavour complexity and refined texture. Bright and clean with grapefruit, nutty and smoky nuances, properly dry and focused.
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Tapanappa News, Articles & Reviews
Brian Croser's first wine from a vineyard planted in 2003 on a cold, foggy 350-metre peak of the Fleurieu Peninsula. This is promising pinot from one of Australia's most significant wine figures. But Brian, could we please have another few months in barrel next vintage?
Croser's wine, from the Tiers Vineyard (planted 1979) is an altogether more subtle wine ? luxurious but with finesse and a seamless integration of the fruit and barrel ferment and maturation elements. It just needs time in bottle.
2007 Tapanappa Pinot Noir, Fleurieu Peninsula
Nearly all you need to know about this wine is printed on the back and front labels of the bottle; for example, the fruit hails from the Foggy Hill vineyard situated at Parawa, the highest point of the peninsula. How about that the Bernard clones of pinot noir are densely planted in a vineyard littered with 67-million-year-old ironstone and produce a meagre crop of 5 tonnes per hectare. Or that only 850 cases of the wine were made. The most important part is what's inside the bottle. This is magnificent pinot noir made by Brian Croser, who describes his wine (yes, on the label) as "a pure expression of a unique Australian terroir".
Dean Taylor: CEO, Wine-Ark
ONE DOZEN OF EACH:
Tapanappa Foggy Hill Pinot Noir, Fleurieu Peninsula
Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard Cabernet Shiraz, Wrattonbully
A superb chardonnay by maestro Brian Croser. It's about understated complexity; fruit, oak, malolactic and lees characters are in harmony, with concentration and finesse. All it needs is time; if it evolves like the '05 it will be great.
The first vintage from Brian Croser's pioneering, close-planted pinot noir vineyard on the Fleurieu's southern tip is a stunner: elegant cherry and undergrowth flavours, and fine, powdery tannins. Ageworth, too.
Drink with quail.
Certain politicians like to use the word "un-Australian" in a derogatory sense. I'll use it here in a very positive way. May Australian chardonnays are driven by fruit at the expense of complexity. Relatively few combine those two key aspects of wine in the way the best whites of Burgundy do. This one does. The nose is restrained and minerally in the manner of Corton Charlemagne. The palate delivers sheer joy to the chardonnay lover. It tastes more of the ground in which the grapes were grown, rather than peach or melon, or other common descriptors. Yet it's intense and long, and positively swallows its oak. The acid has some of the steeliness of Corton Charlemagne. This is brilliant wine that will improve further.
The vineyard from which this wine comes was planted in 1974, and until recently was known as Koppamurra. I think it has already proven to be one of Australia's great sites, and this wine reinforces my view. There are many takes on the classic Australian blend of cabernet sauvignon and shiraz, but to my mind the ground breaking was done by the Mildara Yellow Labels of the 1950s and 1960s. A strong Coonawarra component leant an element of elegance to the blend, but we don't see many wines today like them. This Tapanappa stirred fond memories. It's a complete, multifaceted wine that admirably demonstrates the inadequacy of reds that depend on brute force and high ripeness levels. Neither does the Tapanappa depend on primary fruit. There's a beguiling complexity and savoury dryness that gently rein in the flavours of the grapes, yet don't bring them to a halt. This will develop into a superb wine over the next couple of decades.
The fruit component of this wine is probably as good as it gets for merlot in Australia at the moment. There's a depth and complexity that goes way beyond the common plum and spice descriptors. There it is, merlot in all its glory - more like Pomerol than anything else. Time will tell the tale for this wine. At the moment, the obvious oak keeps it off an Outstanding rating.