Brian Croser is the man behind the iconic Australian winery Petaluma - now part of the Lion Nathan Group. He moved on to create Tapanappa with the Bizot Family of Bollinger fame and the Cazes family from Chateau Lynch-Bages. Croser chose an ultra-cool, maritime site called Foggy Hill to plant Pinot Noir for this deliciously drinkable red, which expresses itself with fresh floral aromas of redcurrant jelly and crushed strawberries with a touch of wild herbs. The palate is sweetly savoury, the finish long and ethereal.
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Foggy Hill Vineyard 2009 Pinot Noir Latest Reviews
Brian Croser, one of Australia's most respected winemakers, has been on a mission to find the perfect spot to grow pinot noir in Australia. He settled on the Fleurieu Peninsula on the tip of Sotuh Australia, and the result, while not (quite) perfect, is very fine indeed: seductive, graceful, sleek and complex, it's as good as many a pricier Burgundy.
Brian Croser raised a few eyebrows with his inaugural 2007 Foggy Hill, sourced from a region barely associated with top shelf Australian wine, let alone pinot noir. Then, with his follow up from 2008, Croser showed the capabilities of his special site with a wonderful release. But it's the 2009 which has really declared the winemaking legend's intentions of taking on Australia's very best exponents of the closely followed genre. With the exception of some of Ashton Hills' very best wines, I've never had a South Australian pinot noir so cleanly fruited, savoury, under spoken, beautifully made or astoundingly complex in its youth. Is it the future of South Australian pinot noir? I think so.
Good medium-depth colour; a very savoury briary style, with texture and structure its strengths; needs time to show whether there is enough pinosity (a Croser word) at its heart.
91 points / 4.5 glasses
Drink by 2015
Not surprisingly, Kiwi’s aren’t the only ones producing silky smooth wines Down Under. For an absolute corker, try Tapanappa, Foggy Hill Pinot Noir 2009, Adelaide Hills [Ed: Fleurieu Peninsula], South Australia. The colour of morello cherries, it’s produced by one of the country’s most famous winemakers, Brian Croser (formerly of Petaluma). Polished and beautifully structured with ribbons of red and black fruit, subtle tannins and an elegant finish, save this beauty for lightly seasoned dishes, rather than hickory-flavoured platters.
Young vine Pinot rarely flatters, but these six-year-old vines are finding their place. The cooler 2009 season provided tart acidity which underlines lifted rose petal perfume and precise red cherry palate.
It's honed, fresh and expressive.
I have a small number of Tapanappa wines in my cellar, but never tasted the full range until last night. I cannot think of another small Australian winery which produces four different wines at such an outstanding level. I much prefer these wines to Brian Croser's old Petaluma range. Every wine I tried I would rate in the 95/96 point range.
The 2008 Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay is brilliant. Made in the style of a leading Montrachet, it undergoes 100% malolactic fermentation. Despite this, there is enough acidity to balance the ripe lemon and creamy flavours. The wine is matured in 50% new oak, and it shows, but it is not overwhelming. Not many Chardonnay vines in Australia benefit from the full French treatment, but this wine is outstanding and justifies its hefty price tag.
2008 Tapanappa Tiers Chardonnay
Brian Croser lives alongside the superb Tiers vineyard in the Adelaide Hills and coaxes one of the country’s finest chardonnays from its 30-year-old vines. This has restraint and fruit purity, wonderful texture and bright, refreshing acidity.
2009 Tapanappa Foggy Hill Pinot Noir
From a mild, dry growing season in Southern Fleurieu Peninsula in SA comes this brooding, age-worthy pinot that is tight, fine and showing power, restrained dark-cherry and raspberry-pith flavours.
2006 Tapanappa Whalebone Cabernet Shiraz
Brian Croser has nailed pinot noir in record time with his new Fleurieu vineyard. Cherry to plum aromas, with subtle background oak. The tannins provide backbone and authority, and good persistence. A pinot of richness and gravitas.
2009 is young for a flash pinot but what's a man to do? We're not camels. Young but you can see the makings ... if only we had another bottle. 8.9/10