Recognition

Tapanappa News, Articles & Reviews

The 10 Best Chardonnay’s of 2020 – 2019 Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay

We are very excited to announce the Tiers Vineyard 2019 Chardonnay was listed in the Drinks Business 10 Best Chardonnay’s for 2020 after winning GOLD at the 2020 Drinks Business Global Chardonnay Masters in December for the fifth year running.

This continues a fantastic run for the Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay, building on it’s worldwide reputation, with previous vintages claiming:
2018 – Gold
2017 – Master
2016 – Gold
2015 –

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Decanter World Wine Awards *Gold Medal* – 2016 Whalebone Cabernet Shiraz

Plush with perfumed violet, bramble, liquorice and black pepper aromatics, spiced and savoury on the palate with layers of chocolate, dark berry and harmonious tannins.
95 points

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Decanter World Wine Awards *Gold Medal* – 2018 Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay

The journey of refining a wine from a “distinguished site” is a long one full of self-doubt. How does the vigneron know that quality from a vineyard is improving year on year and that wine-style is refining. Mostly it is achieved through self-assessment, the vigneron comparing vintage after vintage from the same vineyard and using comparison of wines from the same variety and style intent from comparable regions in Australia and internationally. Occasionally this self-assessment process needs to be ground-truthed through independent expert review.

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Chardonnay satisfaction – now officially at ‘phwoar’ level – 2018 Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay

This is now the third bottle of Tapanappa Tiers Chardonnay 2018 and each time it gets better. Now officially at ‘phwoar’ level.
For a little context about Tiers, you need to start here. In my mind, this is the model of restrained power – an acknowledgement that Chardonnay can be both bold and refreshing, which the best white Burgundy does so well. This ’18 is a bigger, broader wine than the ’17 vintage release but I think I like it even more.

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The Master Winemaker 100: Brian Croser [Tapanappa Wines]

Earlier this year, The drinks business published a guide celebrating the talent of the winemakers who have scooped the highest accolade of our Global Masters tasting series, which is judged almost exclusively by MWs. Each week we profile the winemakers behind these medal winning wines – the creatives, scientists, mavericks and dreamers who are at the pinnacle of winemaking.

Brian Croser began as a winemaker with Thomas Hardy and Sons in 1969, later attending The University of California at Davis and establishing the Wine Science program at Charles Sturt.

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Wine Companion 2021

Eden Valley Riesling 2018
Founded on the philosophy of fealty to distinguished single sites, this juicy riesling hails from the meagre granitic souls of the 50yo Bartholomeus Vineyard. Pink grapefruit pulp, bath salts and lemon rind notes cascade along a gentle phenolic waft and juicy acid rails. This is ripe and luscious, eschewing contemporary trends toward earlier harvest windows and brittle acidity. At once pointed and richly flavoured. Finessed, too, while boasting a real propulsion of flavours and textures.

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From an Australian optimist

In the spring an old man’s fancy lightly turns to cheering us all up. Brian Croser ruminates in the Adelaide Hills.

The annual cycle turns regardless of drought, bushfires and COVID- 19. The wattles are in full blossom, the jonquils and daffodils are flowering, the magnolia and almond blossoms are just emerging and we are pruning Tiers Vineyard.

We are more than a month past the shortest day of the year and the plants have received their instructions from season control to begin a new cycle of growth,

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Exquisite, haunting, certainly captivating – 2018 Foggy Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

Cool site, warm year, as Brian Croser pitches it in the accompanying letter – detailed, and insightful as ever – with the sample.
An expressly aromatic take on Pinot Noir: Chinese five spice, sandalwood, something Plum like, a touch of Goji Berry even. Exquisite, haunting, certainly captivating. Supple, lithe – certainly initially so on entry – before a slight firmness and fine grain of tannin sweeps across the palate. A persistent line of flavour carries,

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A Fighter For Fine Wine

There have been few more influential figures in the modern history of Australian wine than Brian Croser.

“I always had the conviction that Australia’s national geographical attributes, climate and soils, its very stable temperate climate on the edge of the Great Southern Ocean, gives a climate the equivalent of 40-45 degrees North. We should be a major supplier of fine wine to the globe. We don’t have enough consumers to do it just for ourselves”

“My passion has been the right climate and the right soil,

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We have a wine of swagger here, a bold wine but a vital wine – 2016 Whalebone Cabernet Franc Merlot

Merlot makes up 44% of the wine, while cabernet franc is 56%. Always good to see franc holding sway.
When I first tasted this I thought there was too much bubble-gum oak, and for some people there probably is, but as it breathes dust and pure blackcurrant flavours burst forward as rugged, muscular tannin rumbles into place. We have a wine of swagger here, a bold wine but a vital one, with choc-mint characters aplenty along with gravel,

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Looking back at Australian Chardonnay

I think it was Xavier Bizot who had the idea of celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the planting of the Tiers vineyard in the Adelaide Hills in 1979.

He is the son-in-law of Brian Croser, who initially planted the vines for his nascent Petaluma wine operation. Much wine has flowed under the bridge since then, including the sale of Petaluma in 2001 to Asian brewers Lion Nathan and the establishment of the Croser family’s own Tapanappa label in the old Petaluma winery from 2015.

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2020 Vintage Report – Unforgettable

Note this report was also published at https://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/south-australia-2020-unforgettable

Last time I wrote about the emerging 2020 vintage I was branded ‘a denier’, ‘a dinosaur’ and ‘an angry old white man with a tin ear’, among other compliments. Let me begin this final version with a disclaimer: A hotter and drier future cannot be denied or avoided and each of us can and should do our utmost to mitigate that.

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Needs time – 2016 Whalebone Cabernet Franc Merlot

Bright and deep ruby-red colour. Loads of toasty oak and green rhubarb, eucalyptus and red licorice. Ripe red strawberries and cranberries wrestle with ambitious tannins and dried herb sinew. Tannins are chalky and ripe. It’s a bit of an assault on the senses right now. Needs time and air to soften its stance
92 points

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Sensational wine – 2016 Whalebone Cabernet Shiraz

Black olive hue with red edges. So many moving parts to the bouquet: cedar, dark soy, tapenade, mixed red and black berries, oak is definitely firm. An opulent first sip; ripe blackberries and raspberries meld beautifully with licorice and softer plum notes. Time in the bottle has softened some edges. This is right in the slot – tannins in harmony. Sensational wine
95 points

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The palate is refreshing – 2018 Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay

Medium to light straw-yellow hue, with a dominant note of sawn-timber and cedary oak in the aroma. The palate is refreshing with abundant lemony flavour and crisp, elevated acidity, the aftertaste tangy and nervy. This needs food, the acidity is a little shrill on its own.
90 points

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Global Chardonnay Masters success

The 2018 Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay has won Gold at The Drinks Business 2019 International Chardonnay Masters

This continues a fantastic run, Master Chardonnay 2015, Gold 2016, Gold 2017

About the competition:
The Global Masters is a series of blind tasting competitions, drawing in entries from across the world. One of the key elements to its success is the quality and the dedication of the judges involved.

Every wine is measured on the taste of its grape and the skill of its winemaker.

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Top shelf Chardonnay – 2018 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. Dramatically concentrated but long and elegant. Essence of the variety. White peach and pear, chalk and honeysuckle, sweet cedarwood, toast. It all gathers and then soars through the finish. Top shelf chardonnay without a doubt. Will be better again in a year or two.
95 points

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It’s rich and powerful – 2018 Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay

Light to medium yellow hue, with a lightly smoky, wheaty-oak and roasted cashew nut bouquet, the palate intense and refined, long and saline. Oak is visible but not unbalanced, and will vanish in a year or so. It’s rich and powerful and fills the mouth with flavour, the finish and follow-through underlined by a subtle tannin grip. This vintage is remarkably overt for a young Tiers.
94 points

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An impressive young Chardonnay – 2018 Tiers Vineyard 1.5M Chardonnay

Bright, light yellow colour, the bouquet and flavour big on citrus fruits, driven by lemon; a little biscuity oak. The palate is refreshingly fruity, dry and lemony, with nerviness and restraint. Terrific intensity and drive. An impressive young chardonnay with electric flavour and refreshing nerve, cleansing and very long in its aftertaste. It’s more refined than the old-vine Tiers Vineyard 2018
95 points

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Conveys quality – 2018 Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay

Intoxicating. Perhaps the laziest descriptor there is. Yet, it conveys the allure of premium Adelaide Hills, the stonefruit and citrus aromatics supported by the nuances of premium oak that served – or stored – it so well.

Initially subtle, of guile, yet it soon blossoms – nigh balloons – across the palate. Subtlety of flavour, married to a fine vein of acid, the omnipresent oak and with a certain presence that conveys quality.

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Much bigger and more generous – 2018 Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay

A very rich, full-bodied wine, much bigger and more generous than the 2017, a real mouthful. Almost opulent. Very approachable already and possibly the most full-bodied Tiers to date. (Second-warmest vintage ever; 575 dozens made)

95 points

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An outstanding wine – 2017 Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay

A very fragrant, aromatic, cool-year bouquet; a wine of great subtlety and delicacy. Great poise and intensity, as well as finesse. Harmony, refinement and persistence. Lemons aplenty. The palate is seamless. An outstanding wine, promising more in the future. (Very cool season, latest ever vintage. 350 dozens made.)

98 points

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Impressive wine, inherently complex – 2017 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. It’s light, firm and immensely spicy. Roots, leaves, earth and wood combine with strawberry, red cherry, beet and violets. There’s a geranium-like character here; it’s a complex wine, inherently complex. Its charms are clean and yet its sleeves are well stocked;

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A very attractive premium regional wine – 2017 Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay

Brian Croser is undoubtedly the Godfather of Adelaide Hills Chardonnay, first planting the region to the variety some 40-odd years ago.

Broad and powerful wine, instantly you feel seduced by its quite intoxicating allure of stonefruit, citrus and oak. The palate suggests sandalwood meets a subtle cinnamon tinged spice. Has substance, yet also a gentle flowing length across the length of the palate.

As ever balance is key, and that elegant wine combined with acidity will see this hold well.

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PICCADILLY SA 5151
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