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. At ten dollars cheaper than Shaw + Smith's M3 it's a very attractive premium regional offering.
Tiers Vineyard Latest Reviews
Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
This is the oldest of the three Tiers Vineyard blocks, with 2ha planted in '70 of what Croser calls the OF clones, which has a history to make Conan Doyle happy. It's a Californian clone that was eradicated there because of leaf roll virus - the cuttings were not infected when Croser brought them to Australia. The vinification was the same as for the 1.5m, but this is decidedly more complex than its sibling, confidently filling the mouth with balanced fruit flavours.
96 points (2031)
This is the oldest of the three Tiers vineyard blocks, with 2ha planted in '70 of what Croser calls the OF clones, which has a history to make Conan Doyle happy. It's a Californian clone that was eradicated there because of leaf roll virus - the cuttings were not infected when Croser brought them to Australia. The vinification was the same as for the 1.5m, but this is decidedly more complex than its sibling, confidently filling the mouth with balanced fruit flavours.
A complete wine with exceptional detail and power. It has a core of lemony fruit plus hints of beeswax, meringue and nougat. Excellent drive and acidity
A classy wine with a delicate fragrance of white flowers, fresh pears, oatmeal and lemon. The palate is beautifully sweet-fruited with excellent energy and drive, plus delicious lingering grapefruit flavours. It’s a high-quality wine that is extremely well-made that delivers a superb drinking experience
Well priced, well made, well grown and well flavoured. If I was out and about and I saw this, I wouldn’t hesitate. It’s driven by apple-like flavours but stonefruit, cedarwood and honeysuckle characters come into play too. It has a refreshing wash of acidity and it gives the impression that it will be better again given extra time in bottle. But right now it has balance, flavour and indeed elegance nicely sewn up.
Wafting oatmeal aromas introduce a textural palate brimming with juicy lemon flavours. There is a beautiful vein of integrated acidity supporting the fruit. Intense and savoury
The chardonnay vines on the Tiers Vineyard are now well over 30 years old, some 40+. It’s a 3-hectare vineyard spaced at 3330 vines per hectare. This release saw 33% new oak. Blow me down. This is beautiful. As in, exquisite. Complex, textural, elegant and long. Flint, white peach, vanilla pod, grapefruit and juicy pear. Cedar, smoked. Spice, dried. Makes you slow down and stop to admire it.
From a section of vineyard re-planted to Bernard clones in 2003. The vines are planted 1.5 x 1.5 metres apart, hence the name. Straw-yellow in colour. It’s both slippery-smooth and racy with acidity. Indeed acidity is a keen player here, though it comes strung with white peach, cedarwood and grapefruit flavours. It feels elegant, it feels fine-fingered, it feels svelte and it feels in need of time. It’s on its way to a very good place; I hovered score-wise around 93-94 but after giving it time it fell firmly on the higher side.
Another great Tapanappa Chardonnay. Sourced from a block of close-planted vines planted in 2003 on the Tiers property, this is quite a contrast to the more linear Tiers (which still has its measure). From the outset, this is more opulent and mouthfilling, the flavours sliding into nutty richness and peach, the finish toasty and full. It’s a model, traditional Adelaide Hills Chardonnay, with oak, lees and ripe fruit playing a part, delivering a wine of unashamed depth, complexity and real quality.