Tapanappa Tiers Vineyard 2023 Chardonnay

Of the past four wonderful vintages in Tiers Vineyard, 2023 was the coldest.

The colour of 2023 Tiers is pale lemon. The aroma displays characters reflective of this cool year with subtle, aromatic apple and pear with honey and lemon, complexed by yeast, cashew and oak spice. The flavour is intense and fresh with a lingering acidity. 

The taut edge of acid and the slight astringency and bitterness of the grapefruit finish, perfectly offset the fruit and texture that are the hallmarks of fruit from this vineyard.2023 Tiers Chardonnay is “a very cool vintage of a unique wine defined by the truly distinguished Tiers Vineyardterroir”.

Vintage Notes

The Tiers Vineyard was planted in 1979, the first vineyard in the Piccadilly Valley since the 19th century. The vineyard is close spaced and vertical canopy, the first of this quality focussed design in Australia. The clone of Chardonnay in “old” Tiers is of unknown origins but probably relates to the first introduction of Chardonnay vines to Australia in the 19th century.

Cool like the 2020, 2021 and 2022 vintages before it, the 2023 vintage in the Piccadilly Valley was the lowest crop and the coolest of the four. The 2023 vintage gave a heat summation of 1093C-days, versus the long-term average of 1135C-days. We have now had four successive cooler vintages, 2020 to 2023, after the near unrelenting warmth of the previous decade of vintages.

The Chardonnay crop was very modest in the Tiers old block at 3.3 tonnes/hectare.

The grapes in the 42-year-old Tiers Vineyard ripened in still and cool air, sunny conditions, ideal autumnal weather and just before a rain event.

Tiers Vineyard old block yielded up its exceptional quality fruit on the 12th and 13th of April, two weeks later than average and one of the latest ever.

Winemaking Notes

The hand harvested Chardonnay grapes from the Tiers Vineyard old block (1981), were chilled in trays in the cold-room to 2C.

The cold grapes were tipped into our gentle air-bag presses and the whole fruit pressed juice was pumped to tank before being gravitated to French oak barriques (one third new) for fermentation. The fermentation lasted two months in the cool autumn conditions. The wine was barrel aged on full lees until November of 2023 when it was clear racked from barrique and bottled.

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