Let’s first deal with the regional point of difference: Brian Croser planted his pinot vineyards in this constantly coldest and wettest place starting 12 years back. The rewards are showing with stunningly pure aromas in the crushed cherry spectrum, the palate taking a more restrained and softer, medium bodied approach with delightful woodier wild herb, spice and pepper notes to finish.
Foggy Hill Vineyard Latest Reviews
Foggy Hill is a site that I yearn to visit. I've only taken the Southward drive down the Fleurieu coast the once, but I simply love that coastal drive, the child-like rolling hills that simply form, one into the other. I'll get there one day. Until then, I'm highly appreciative of the opportunity to see what the site can produce.
Harvested two weeks earlier than 'normal' - although I am unsure what normal is anymore - stated to be 0.3% degrees lower in alcohol and $2 cheaper than the 2012 edition.
Sap and stem are still familiar components on the nose. Less forward, less of the prune and liqueur, instead I see it as the sweetness of new growth, a little muscovado sweetness that makes way for a little dried herb as the wine opens up.
Bright mid cherry colour. Sweet and pretty red cherry and raspberry fruit with a touch of new oak and attractive thyme herbal complexity. More fruit forward than previous release in a quite rounded and lush style finishing with spicy earthy complexity over a long and elegant finish.
Drinking Range: 2014 - 2020
All it needs is time...
Once the surprisingly sweet toasty oak integrates here this is going to be superb. It's easily the biggest boned Tapa Pinot yet, but that weight and volume enhances the appeal. The flesh and swagger underneath suggests plenty of greatness to come. 18/20, 93/100++
Arguably the best Tapanappa Pinot Noir to date. The bouquet is complex, with a light touch of oak. The fruit takes in both berries and plums, and the silky palate is as well balanced and focused as it is long.
Drink By: 2019
A trio of reviews from Jancis Robinson
Tapanappa, Whalebone Vineyard 2009 Wrattonbully, 16.5+
“Mid blackish ruby. Firm and meaty on the nose. Actually it does not taste dominated by Cabernet. Subtle and appetising. Still with tannins in evidence but very fine textured and warming but certainly not hot on the finish. Cries out for food. Clearly made with minimal additions. Long and vibrant. Still quite young and earthy.”
Tapanappa, Whalebone Vineyard Merlot/Cabernet Franc 2009 Wrattonbully, 17
“Bright ruby red. Subtle, savoury, earthy notes. Really very restrained for an Australian red! Perhaps the slightest of minty hints? Very cool, sophisticated, dry finish. Super-appetising and quite youthful. Some palates may even criticise it for being too light. Lots more still to come. Hint of tarmacadam on the finish.”
I have been quite a fan of Brian Croser’s Tapanappa wines, since being introduced to them when I visited him back in 2005. Making fine wine is a long-term project, especially when you are planting new vineyards. It takes the best part of a generation for most to really believe in a new project, in part because most reviewers and authorities are reluctant to take a strong position on a new wine, and tend to give the established classics the benefit of the doubt, even when they don’t deserve this.
This pinot noir has a lot of gravitas with a deep colour and spicy bouquet. It’s slightly oak dominant at first with black cherry emerging in time. It’s dense and persistent with satisfying flavour, backed by a spine of tannins.
95 points / 5 stars
A single vineyard pinot that is now showing glorious vintage sympathies, here everything ripe, spicy and dark fruited from a warm year, its balance and poise mesmerising.
In 2003 Brian Croser planted three Dijon clones of pinot noir at about 350 metres altitude on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula. Elevation and proximity to the cold Southern Ocean give Croser’s Foggy Hill site a unique microclimate, dramatically cooler than the nearby shiraz country of McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek – sufficiently so to give Croser great confidence in pinot noir. The vineyard’s pinots showed promise from the first vintage in 2007. But in the warm 2012 season, promise turns to excitement, with a slightly deeper, riper style than I’ve tasted in previous years. The underlying varietal flavour leans towards darker fruits like plum and cherry. This is overlaid with a subtly stalky touch, derived from the stems of whole-bunches, and the intriguing earthy–savoury notes of good pinot.