Sunday 1st of December “Piccadilly Pick-a-Dozen
10am - 1pm, Tapanappa Winery. Load up the car with wine for the festive season!
Taste and buy wines from Terre a Terre /DAOSA, Tapanappa, CRFT, Barratt Wines and Greenhill WInes.
Sausage sizzle, coffee, cherries and flower stall!

Tapanappa News, Articles & Reviews

The War on Terroir Hits SA Vineyards

Author: 
Chris Shanahan
Source: 
The Canberra Times
Review Date: 
3rd of December 2006

In last week's column we looked at the emergence of Wrattonbully, Coonawarra's neighbour on South Australia's Limestone Coast, and of Brian Croser's acquisition in 2003 of the pioneering Koppamurra vineyard, established in 1974.

It was the first acquisition by Tapanappa Wines Pty Ltd, a company founded by Croser in partnership with Jean-Michel Cazes of Château Lynch-Bages, Bordeaux, and Société Jacques Bollinger, the parent company of Champagne Bollinger.

This followed Lion Nathan's earlier acquisition of Petaluma Wines, founded by Croser in 1976 and headed by him until 2005.

Petaluma had been built, with the encouragement of Croser's great mentor, Len Evans, on the basis of regional specialisation. Thus the Petaluma portfolio included Coonawarra cabernet and merlot from the Evans and Sharefarmers vineyards; Clare Valley riesling from the Hanlin Hill vineyard; Piccadilly Valley chardonnay from a number of carefully selected sites; Piccadilly Valley sparkling wine from sub-plots of those vineyards and, later, shiraz and viognier from Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills.

Losing control of Petaluma prompted Croser to establish Tapanappa along the same lines, though by now, almost thirty years after Petaluma's birth, he had been articulating the merits of ?distinguished vineyard? sites, within specialised regions, for a decade or more.

Indeed, had Croser maintained control of Petaluma it's almost certain that he would have added the thirty-year-old Koppamurra vineyard to its assets and produced a single vineyard wine from it.

Under Croser Petaluma had already acquired the Riddoch Vineyard, Wrattonbully's oldest (established by Patrick and Susie Pender in 1969), and had begun to include a tiny quantity of excellent cabernet sauvignon from it as a legal out-of-district component of Petaluma Coonawarra ? one of the region's elite reds.

Croser also had some familiarity with wines from the Koppamurra Vineyard and had a particularly favourable impression of a 1980 cabernet he?d made for the Ashbourne label in conjunction with winemaking colleague Geoff Weaver.

Having acquired Koppamurra, Croser renamed it the Whalebone Vineyard -- recognising the unique limestone geology of the region with its fossil rich caves and, in particular, the 35-million year old whale skeleton lying under the vineyard.

Croser made the first Tapanappa red from it in 2003 and in 2004 produced the shiraz cabernet blend reviewed last week and 2004 Merlot, due for release early next year.

And the Tapanappa line up now includes a Piccadilly Valley chardonnay 2005 from the Tiers vineyard, owned by Brian's wife Ann. This was the first site planted to chardonnay by Croser in the Petaluma days and is well known, too, as source of Petaluma Tiers Chardonnay since 1996.

Tapanappa is also developing a pinot noir from a new vineyard at Parawa, described by Brian as ?the coolest, wettest, windiest, lowest day time temperature place on Adelaide's Fleurieu Peninsula. But that's only if quality scrubs up to expectations.

What the Petaluma and Tapanappa wines share is an attempt to express and market terroir ? the distinctive characteristics driven by the unique site of each vineyard.

Says Croser, ?There's an antipathy and resentment to the concept within the Australian wine establishment. But terroir is the dictionary around which the language of fine wine is written and talked about. If Australia doesn?t adopt it, we?ll be overtaken by Chile which has?.

Croser laments the commoditisation of Australian wine, evidenced by the collapse of our average export price from $4.77 per litre in 2002 to just $3.72 today. He knows that we have magnificent regional and single vineyard specialties. But the message is not getting out. That's our new challenge.

Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard 2004 Cabernet Shiraz

Author: 
Andrew Wood
Source: 
www.divineonline.com.au
Review Date: 
1st of December 2006

The other wine released under the Tapanappa label (see previous review of the 2005 Chardonnay) is a blend of 70% cabernet, 20% shiraz and 10% cabernet franc. The fruit is sourced from a vineyard planted in 1974 in Wrattonbully (north of Coonawarra). After years of championing Coonawarra cabernet, it's hardly surprising that Croser has gone back to the uniquely Australian blend of cabernet/shiraz, after all, the early vintages of Petaluma were cab/shiraz blends, some of which are still drinking wonderfully today (the 1979 in particular).

Love the purity of the nose, crystal clear aromas of black cherry, plum, violets and damp earth burst from the glass. The supporting oak oozes sex appeal and is amazingly discreet considering the wine was aged for eighteen months in 100% new tight-grained French. Silky-smooth in the mouth, the wines rolls down the palate effortlessly. Sweet squishy dark berries and roasted oak have integrated beautifully with the fine, powdery tannins and bright vein of acidity. Aromatic mid-palate, yet finishes savoury and grippy. Brilliantly structured, the firm cabernet tannins that run down the sides of the palate have been toned down by the addition of the shiraz to the point you hardly notice them. Good drinking now, but will be sensational with some age on it (anywhere between five to ten years).

Tapanappa Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay 2005

Author: 
Andrew Wood
Source: 
www.divineonline.com.au
Review Date: 
1st of December 2006

Tapanappa is a joint venture between Brian Croser, Bollinger and the Cazes family (who own Lynch Bages in Bordeaux). The fruit is sourced from the Tiers vineyard in the Adelaide Hills (Croser retained ownership of the vineyard after Lion Nathan took control of Petaluma).

Exquisitely elegant and harmonious on the nose?the balance between grapefruit/nougat/white peach fruit, mealy/leesy winemaking and creamy oak is justification enough to rip the cork out of the bottle. Beautifully restrained in the mouth with determined minerally acidity and sexy, nutty oak subduing the underlying rich, sweet fruit. A very powerful wine yet so graceful and sensual as it travels down the palate to the long persistent finish which ends on a bitey citrus note. A very complex, extremely well-made wine that is, without a doubt, worth every cent. Outstanding.

a new enterprise

Author: 
Chris Shanahan
Source: 
The Canberra Times
Review Date: 
26th of November 2006

In 2001 brewer Lion Nathan acquired Petaluma, the upmarket wine company founded by Brian Croser in 1976. In January 2003, Croser -- in partnership with, Jean-Michel Cazes of Château Lynch-Bages, Bordeaux, and Société Jacques Bollinger, the parent company of Champagne Bollinger -- purchased the Koppamurra vineyard at Wrattonbully, near Coonawarra.

The partnership -- Tapanappa Wines Pty Ltd -- changed the property name from Koppamurra to Whalebone Vineyard and made it the centrepiece of a new enterprise focusing on wines from distinguished sites.

And just in case you?re wondering how a little known vineyard in little known Wrattonbully became distinguished, it's worth understanding Wrattonbully first. We?ll move on to Whalebone Vineyard and Tapanappa Wines next week.

Chardonnay trail again

Author: 
Jamie Goode
Source: 
www.wineanorak.com
Review Date: 
26/11/2006

Another data point for the Chardonnay trail, an unofficial series of notes on examples of this variety that have been accumulating on my blog in recent weeks.

This time it's off to Australia - the Piccadilly Valley of South Australia, to be precise. This one's from a famous vineyard, but it's a new wine. It's the first release of the Tapanappa Chardonnay (2005), which comes from Brian Croser's Tiers vineyard (pictured), which until this year was used to make Petaluma Chardonnay (and in more recent years the single-vineyard Tiers bottling).

Birthday Wine

Author: 
Jamie Goode
Source: 
www.wineanorak.com
Review Date: 
23/11/2006

Tonight we celebrated my birthday, and also the fact that eldest son's school cricket team won the Middlesex county title at Lords.....

Tappanappa Whalebone Vineyard 2004 Wrattonbully, Australia is the second release of Brian Croser's new red wine, from a vineyard he first made wine from in the 1980s. It's superbly balanced, with rich, sweet fruit nicely countered by good structure. A wine that I feel will age well, and which has a real sense of class to it. I gave it 94/100.

Top Drop

Author: 
Tony Harper
Source: 
Brisbane News
Review Date: 
November 22-28 2006

Tony Harper 17-11-06.jpg

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