Recognition

Tapanappa News, Articles & Reviews

“This makes an impression” 2020 Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay

I haven’t read the press notes on this wine but 2020 in the Adelaide Hills was an interesting time, no doubt. There’s plenty of fruit power here. And texture. And form. It feels powerful and well honed and, indeed, has a quartz-like aspect to it. Yellow peach, grapefruit, nectarine, woodsmoke and cedar characters shoot convincingly through.

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“It had me hooked straight up” 2020 The Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay

The chardonnay vines on the Tiers Vineyard in the Piccadilly Valley are all now well over 30 years old though some were planted in the late 1970s. This is an intense glide of beautiful chardonnay flavour. It had me hooked straight up. There’s an amount of struck match character here too, for the record, though the pear,

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“A pretty impressive wine” – 2019 Foggy Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

It’s a firm, fragrant, spice-riddled pinot noir with blueberry and macerated cherry notes shot through with aromatic herb notes. In fact it’s quite earthen, almost beetroot-like, with a sweetness to the finish in the context of its dry/earthen style. This is a pretty impressive wine it has to be said. Different in its Australian context.

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2018 Foggy Hill Vineyard “DEFINITUS” Pinot Noir

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.

Firm, ripe and convincing. Cedarwood oak shows keenly but fruit-derived flavours are yet myriad. Dry tobacco, garden herbs,

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“A lavish wine” – 2017 Whalebone Vineyard Merlot Cabernet Franc

Lots going on here. Huge perfume of ripe plum, sage, violets, pot pourri, cedar. The palate is plush, jubey, lush, soft, lots of ripe fruit, a lick of minty green herbs, some rose hip tea and a late wash of feathery tannins and malt. Bold mouthful, lots of excitement, plenty of grunt and yet balance and class.

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“Wrattonbully the hero here”- 2017 Whalebone Vineyard Cabernet Shiraz

Seaspray, seaweed scents, a dusting of clove, cassis, some eucalyptus too. Evocative perfume. Dark fruit flavours, more of the salty, seaweed thing to taste, some saltbush greenery too, chewy, clove-y oak laid on with late coming tannins building to a nice chew. Good concentration, flow, suppleness, though a bit dry and tangy on the finish.

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“A quiet achiever, needs time or cellaring” – 2019 Foggy Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

Sour cherry and dark fruit profile, touch more of the savoury – almost hedgerow, stem like – than I necessarily recall. For that depth of aromatics, it carries a lightness to itself; silken in its flow across the palate and not sacrificing length nor depth of flavour. 

Tannin is exemplary: both fine and minerally.

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“Classy Wine” – 2019 Foggy Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

Brian Croser’s Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot has evolved quite a bit over its existence, the style reaching for more delicacy every vintage. It doesn’t always get there, but the trade-off is a wine with no shortage of power. It’s easy to overlook the subtlety with this 2019 vintage release too. The nose has a distinct Pinosity complete with a little leaf litter and loads of almost glace red fruit.

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2020 Tiers Vineyard 1.5M Chardonnay

“It’s young and will be even better next year” – 2020 Tiers Vineyard 1.5M Chardonnay

Light yellow colour. The nose is reductive, smoky matchstick, a kiss of oak too, in balance. Small flowers, quite lovely fruit-driven aromas. The palate is soft and round and refined, tapering a bit towards the back. The acid is a trifle firm,

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2020 Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay

“Potential Plus” – 2020 Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay

Light straw colour. Cashew nut, straw, biscuit and creamy lees aromas, restrained and fresh and delicate, but extremely intense and concentrated on the middle palate. The acidity is searing, a trifle domineering perhaps, but will easily be absorbed by any food. Long, long persistence. Potential plus.

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South Australia 2021 – near perfect

Brian Croser reports on the 2021 vintage, which he describes as ‘perfection in a sea of uncertainty’.

In South Australia we have just completed one of the very best vintages of my 51-vintage career.

Against a background of global social tumult, roiling sickness and death in India and other developing nations,

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“South Australia’s top-scoring white wines: 20 to try” – 2018 Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay

With Spring approaching this 20 March, white wines may begin to take an edge this time of year. Whether looking for crisp and refreshing styles or complex and full bodied, South Australia’s top-scoring white wines from the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards seem to encompass it all…

2018 Tapanappa, Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay, Piccadilly Valley (Adelaide Hills)
Rich and smoky on the nose,

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“It’s a big youthful wine that will certainly reward with time and age” – 2017 Whalebone Vineyard Merlot Cabernet Franc

Deep red colour with a trace of purple and the bouquet has a gun-smoky, black olive, roasted-fruit bouquet, the palate full-bodied and chewy with assertive, slightly bitter tannins that leave a hefty chew on the aftertaste. A quite heavy, thick-textured red that deserves time and really needs some ageing. Big extraction, bulky and lacking elegance.

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“South Australia’s top-scoring white wines: 20 to try” – 2018 Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay

With Spring approaching this 20 March, white wines may begin to take an edge this time of year. Whether looking for crisp and refreshing styles or complex and full bodied, South Australia’s top-scoring white wines from the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards seem to encompass it all…

2018 Tapanappa, Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay, Piccadilly Valley (Adelaide Hills)
Rich and smoky on the nose,

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“Righteous stuff. All class” – 2016 Tiers Vineyard 1.5M Chardonnay

All class. Layers to bouquet and palate, inward concentration, exceptional length and fine tuned oak/lees work implicit. It offers nectarine to marzipan and cinnamon spice. The palate shows richness but freshness of acidity with a core of flint-like minerality. Righteous stuff.
94 points

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A pure expression of the unique Whalebone Vineyard terroir – 2017 Whalebone Vineyard Cabernet Shiraz

Medium to deep red colour with a trace of purple and a mossy, undergrowth bouquet with traces of humus and cabernet raspberry-mint, more savoury than fruity. The wine is very dry and savoury in the mouth, finishing with firm tannins and a palate-cleansing trace of bitterness. It perhaps lacks a little in freshness but has undoubted depth of flavour,

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A pretty impressive Pinot Noir – 2019 Foggy Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

It’s a firm, fragrant, spice-riddled pinot noir with blueberry and macerated cherry notes shot through with aromatic herb notes. In fact it’s quite earthen, almost beetroot-like, with a sweetness to the finish in the context of its dry/earthen style. This is a pretty impressive wine it has to be said. Different in its Australian context.

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An excellent example of Australia’s own unique blend – 2016 Whalebone Cabernet Shiraz

The classic Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz blend is all about combining the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon with the ripeness and upfront appeal of shiraz. This example does it well, aided by the warm 2016 vintage.

It is a bright deep ruby colour but still closed, and youthful. The fruit is brooding – layers of tar,

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A huge wine with considerable impact – 2016 Whalebone Cabernet Shiraz

This Tapanappa Whalebone Cab Shiraz 2016 sure packs in flavour, but it would be more compelling if it was less ripe.
85% Wrattonbully Cabernet and 15% Adelaide Hills Shiraz (from the Shining Rock Vineyard which Brian Croser founded in the Petaluma days). It’s deep, thick and coffeed, the palate drenched with dark chocolate flavour and a thick,

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Another solid Adelaide Hills Chardonnay – 2018 Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay

While not quite of the same calibre as the exceptional Tiers, this Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay 2018 is another solid Adelaide Hills Chardonnay.
Tight and citrussy lemon butter style, the palate very much driven by tangy grapefruit and less about oak richness. For mine it’s a bit disjointed, the fruit lean and citrussy and the palate feels like it’s reaching for richness to balance out the tart grapefruit.

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A good expression of Adelaide Hills Shiraz – 2016 Tapanappa Adelaide Hills Shiraz

2016 Tapanappa Single Vineyard Adelaide Hills Shiraz is the first “distinguished site” shiraz from Tapanappa, from the Shining Rock Vineyard planted in ’96. A very good expression of Adelaide Hills shiraz, replete with black pepper, warm spice and licorice threaded through its blackberry and satsuma plum flavours, oak and tannins in dutiful support.
96 points

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The best Foggy Hill Pinot Noir made to date – 2017 Foggy Hill Vineyard “Definitus” Pinot Noir

2017 gave Foggy Hill the growing season and vintage it craved for. In terms of varietal character, texture, structure, balance and length, the wine can’t be faulted. It is by some distance the best Foggy Hill Pinot Noir made to date. What will the ensuing vintages provide?
97 points

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Should be in the cellar of every Australian wine lover – 2016 Whalebone Cabernet Franc Merlot

Classic right bank (Bordeaux) blend of Cabernet Franc (as opposed to Cabernet Sauvignon being king on the left). Wrattonbully in the far east of the state of South Australia has a cool, maritime influenced, climate – from memory the whalebone reference being to the fact the region was under sea way back in the past,

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A complex and delicious Pinot Noir – 2018 Foggy Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

Foggy Hill is located on the Fleurieu Peninsula, and is one of the coldest places on the Australian mainland. It creates a very unique style of Australian Pinot – particularly savoury, spicy and even meaty wines. The wines are also structural and have a pretty edge.

The 2018 shows its typical youthful flourish – floral,

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