A very fine, taught wine that needs coaxing but, like a good Cote de Beaune, builds characters the longer it's in the glass. Profound, subtly powerful, with a haunting perfume of flowers, spices and citrus fruit.
97 / 100
Food: Grilled marron
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Tiers Vineyard Latest Reviews
The Tiers Vineyard – owned by Ann Croser – is 31 years old and sits at 450 metres above sea level. Its highly prized crop of chardonnay is divided between Tapanappa and Petaluma. Tapanappa takes its portion of the crop from the section of the vineyard where the soil is at its thinnest and rockiest. In all cases this is clearly an exceptional – and historically important – Australian chardonnay vineyard.
The 2010 is characterised by three things: heavy oak, a super-tight profile, and a rocky, quartz-like finish/aftertaste. My initial reaction was ‘why all the oak’ but it was quickly replaced by ‘how amazing is that finish’. It’s a beautifully dry, long-flavoured wine with notes of grapefruit, yeast, green pear, toast and rock/slate/mineral/whatever-you-want-to-call-these-stoney-non-fruit-characters. It’s a very high quality wine.
Tapanappa Tiers Vineyard Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay 2010
Tapanappa Foggy Hill Vineyard Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir 2010
In 2001 Lion Nathan acquired Petaluma (founded in 1976 by Brian Croser). But Croser retained control of the Tiers vineyard, a key source of Petaluma chardonnay. The wine lives on under the Tapanappa label, a joint venture of the Croser family and French families behind Chateau Lynch-Bages and Bollinger Champagne. The finely structured wine delivers juicy, full, ripe-peach varietal flavours, combined with the nutty, spicy characters of fermentation and maturation in oak barrels. I rate Tapanappa’s ripe, fine-boned 2010 pinot noir as the best yet from this new vineyard, planted by Croser in 2003 – inspired by the very cool maritime climate.
A tightly wound, restrained and unevolved bouquet of pear, grapefruit, spring florals and very fine toasty oak; the palate is taut, with the vibrant acidity providing line to the latent power of the fruit within; long, refreshing, fine and resoundingly pure.
Rating: 96 points / 5 Goblets
Drink By: 2020
This is as classy as you would expect from a Brian Croser, Bollinger and Cazes family joint project. Barrel-fermented and oak-aged for 10 months, it is elegantly structured, tropical yet restrained, generous yet intense.
Bright-gold in the glass, this has an instant air of complexity about it, with creamy lees-derived aromas, some nougat, honeysuckle and plenty of ripe white-peach fruit below; the oak's toasty and fresh. In the mouth it's a powerful wine, with composure, strength and layered structure. Very impressive drive, toasted hazelnut flavours waft through pear and white peach, and there's brisk acidity and a long, sizziling finish.
Score: 94 points, two glasses
Tapanappa, Tiers Chardonnay 2008 Piccadilly Valley 18 Drink 2010-2014
Current release. Open, vegy nose. Big and bold and an attempt at a Burgundy grand cru rather than even a premier cru wine! Very toothsome indeed. Well done! Long. Some honey but no flab. Quite open compared with the Yattarna.
Original article http://www.jancisrobinson.com/tasting_articles/ta20110913.html
Sourced off younger, close spaced vines in the Tiers vineyard, this is effectively the second wine to the 'Tiers' Chardonnay and carries more than a little of that worthy DNA. Think hand picking, alcohol and malolactic ferment in barrel (50% new) where it then spent the next 10 months before bottling without filtration.
If there is one thing that Brian Croser clearly knows it's his oak. You can tell that simply by sticking your nose in the glass here, with one of the first whiffs being one of oak. It's sexy time oak, even it's just a fraction too dominant right now. It's the sort of oak that I'd want my Chardonnay in (if I was making a Chardonnay like this).
Bright mid-gold; a restrained and elegant bouquet of white peach, grapefruit, cashew and well handled toasty oak; the palate is fresh on entry and deeply textured with a generous core of sweet fruit; laser like acidity draws out the finish to a long, even and toasty conclusion.
94 points / 5 goblets - Drink by: 2016
Brian Croser led Australia's chardonnay romance by planting the Tiers vineyard at Piccadilly in 1978, though his significant reassessment on how to best treat this grape variety is indicative of Australia's renewed success with chardonnay. For his family's Tapanappa label, Croser has produced a wine that emphasises vibrant fruit ripeness rather than rounded, developed characters - capturing a truly Australian essence rather than chasing Burgundian style. Free-run juice from the hand-harvested grapes were fermented in French oak barriques for 10 months, going through full malolactic fermentation without getting broad and buttery, then bottled without filtration in February and shipped immediately to market. As a result, it boasts fresh peach flavours and tangy minerality, enhanced by refreshing acidity for a clean, crisp finish.