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The Noble House of Carmenet

This paper was presented by Brian at a conference in London, January 2014.



Carmenet is an old Medoc synonym for Cabernet Franc.

It is also the name given to the Bordeaux family of wine-grape varieties by Levadoux in 1948 in his classification of France’s ampelographical assemblage into eco-georoups, varieties grouped by their region of origin and genetic relationships.

How do I know that? The bible tells me so!

Whalebone Vineyard on Wednesday 20 November

Flight of Ibises above the Cabernet Sauvignon Block in the Whalebone Vineyard…  

Ibises flying over Whalebone Vineyard

All the blocks in the Whalebone Vineyard look in balance.  Flowering has started in all varieties, and the weather in the next few weeks will be critical for fruitset.  Cabernet Franc is ahead of the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, very much like every year.

In the press - Xavier Bizot in Grapegrower & Winemaker

The following article comes from Grapegrower & Winemaker, the original can be found here: http://grapegrowerandwinemaker.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/bizot-and-croser...

XAVIER BIZOT KNEW enough about corporate law that he knew he wanted to become a vigneron so he and his family packed their bags, bid Paris a fond adieu and headed for the Adelaide Hills Down Under.

It’s another French revolution.

But in wine.

“Wine Detective” visits

The following article comes from the Naracoorte Herald, 26/09/2013

WRATTONBULLY was just one local wine region put under the microscope by the internationally renowned "Wine Detective" recently.

Sarah Ahmed stopped in at Wrattonbully on September 11 to cast her eye over what has been happening in the region.

She was in the country for Savour Australia and flew in early to get a look around.

Champagne moment for local winemaker

The following article by Eli Greenblat comes from The Age, 7/10/2013

Australian wine-making legend Brian Croser, founder of Petaluma, has attracted the big guns of champagne to his latest wine venture, with the scion of France’s famous Bollinger champagne house joining the board of his privately owned Tapanappa Wines.

Etienne Bizot, the great-nephew of Lily Bollinger and the sixth generation of the family to be involved in Champagne Bollinger, has joined Tapanappa Wines as a director.

“Emphasis on winemaker too strong in OZ”

The following article by Patrick Schmitt appeared on Drinks Business, 20th September 2013.

Australia should shift its emphasis from the personalities behind the wines to the places where they come from in a bid to further the country’s fine wine reputation.

That’s the view of Frenchman Xavier Bizot, who is general manager of Australia’s Tapanappa, and son of former Bollinger chairman, the late Christian Bizot.

Tapanappa Fleurieu Peninsula 2012 Pinot Noir

Tapanappa 2012 Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir bottleshot

Vintage Notes

2012 was a slightly warmer vintage at Parawa because of a warm spring but was followed by a cool summer. Foggy Hill received 1205°C days of heat over the growing season against the long-term average of 1135°C days. The early heat accelerated the growth and fruiting processes at Parawa ensuring an early harvest but the cooler summer enhanced the aromatic Pinot Noir varietal character.

Winemaking Notes

The small black bunches of Block 2 Pinot Noir were hand harvested on the 2nd of March, 3 weeks before the normal harvest date. They were transported to the Petaluma winery in the Piccadilly Valley where the grapes were de-stemmed, crushed and chilled to 1 tonne open fermentation tubs containing 10% chilled whole bunches.

A four-day cold maceration preceded the initiation of fermentation. Fermentation took 8 days of daily hand plunging and reached a peak of 32°C. At the completion of fermentation the tubs were sealed down for a further 8 days of maceration on the skins.

The tubs were pressed gently in an airbag press and the wine was immediately gravitated to French oak barriques (30% new) with complete lees. The wine was left on full lees until the malo-lactic fermentation was complete. After malo-lactic fermentation the wine was clear racked and a small amount of SO2 was added.

After 10 months in barrique, Tapanappa Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir was clear racked and bottled on the 20th of February 2013.

The in bottle analysis is alcohol 13.8%, pH 3.51, total acid 6.5gpl, volatile acid 0.59gpl, sugar 0.45gpl.

The Taste of the Wine

2012 Tapanappa Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir is the product of a slightly warmer than average vintage from the very cool Foggy Hill Parawa site.

The colour is moderate to intense reflecting the sunny vintage effect on berry pigmentation.

The fruit aroma is of strong black berry-fruits with estery floral and spicy edges which contribute to Pinot’s “peacock’s tail”.

The palate has robust fruit flavour reflecting the aroma but with a definite tannin structure and persistence of flavours on the palate.

2012 Tapanappa Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir is “a pure expression of the unique Parawa, Fleurieu Peninsula terroir”.

Winemaker: Brian Croser

Tapanappa 2012 Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir label

Tapanappa Foggy Hill Vineyard 2012 Pinot Noir

Tapanappa Foggy Hill Vineyard 2012 Pinot Noir bottleshot

Vintage Notes

2012 was a wonderful vintage at Foggy Hill, warmer than average, accumulating 1204°C days of heat during the growing season versus the average of 1135° C days.

September to November was warmer and drier than average promoting bud burst and flowering, ensuring an early harvest.

The ripening months of December to March were cooler and drier than average allowing the development of the delicate aromas, flavours and subtle tannins of Pinot Noir grown in ideal conditions.

Perfect small bunches of Pinot noir were hand harvested from the 9 years-old vines on March the second and were delivered to the Petaluma Winery one and a half hours north of Foggy Hill in the Piccadilly Valley.

The harvest analysis of the 2012 Foggy Hill Pinot Noir was exceptional, averaging 24.5 Brix, pH 3.5 and Total Acid of 7gpl.

Winemaking Notes

Three clones of Pinot Noir, Dijon clones 114, 115 and 777 from 9 years-old vines were de-stemmed, crushed and chilled separately to 0.8 tonne open fermenters containing 10% chilled whole bunches and with a small addition of sulphur dioxide.

The crushed and chilled Pinot Noir must and whole bunches were allowed to sit for 4 days in the 0.8 tonne fermenters, as a cold maceration before addition of our own yeast culture and malo-lactic bacteria.

Once fermentation had started the cap of skins was hand plunged on a daily basis, allowing the skins to reach a maximum of 32°C. The fermentation finished after 9 days of plunging and the young wine was allowed to sit in contact with the skins for a further 7 days before pressing.

The content of the fermenters was transferred to a small air-bag press and were drained and pressed as separate clones and immediately gravitated to barriques (30% new) with complete lees.

By the spring the malo-lactic fermentation was completed and the wines were clear racked and given a small addition of sulphur dioxide and returned to the same barriques.

After 10 months in barrique the clonal wines were again clear racked and then blended in preparation for bottling.

2012 Tapanappa Foggy Hill Pinot Noir was bottled under cork on the 15th of February 2013.

The in-bottle analysis is:

Alcohol 14.2%
pH 3.62
Total Acid 6.2gpl
Volatile Acidity 0.52gpl
SO2 90ppm
Sugar 0.29gpl

The Taste of the Wine

Darker in colour than previous Foggy Hill Pinots, 2012 Foggy Hill is a deep and brooding young wine although the intensity of Pinot Noir fruit character is already very evident.

Ripe Pinot Noir aromas of black berry-fruits, exotic spice, anise and delicate florals have added complexity of earthy terroir derived characters.

What you smell is what you taste in this wine but with a core of sweet fruit on the middle palate and very definite and refined tannin finish.

The 2012 Tapanappa Foggy Hill is an example of what to expect from this unique terroir in an excellent warm vintage from mature vines.

Winemaker: Brian Croser

Bottled in February 2013. Only 730 dozen grown and made.

Tapanappa Foggy Hill Vineyard 2012 Pinot Noir label


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