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).
Beyond just the oak, there is - again - much to like here. It's still very tight, with the mealy, slightly grainy oak mingling with some gummy barrel ferment, white peach, oatmeal and whipped cream. Tight as. The palate is even tighter again - if that's possible - and id unbelievably fine, tight and long, an artisinal wine of wow length and exceptional acidity. That oak is still prominent but everything around it suggests a superstar wine. Texturally it balances a lot of acidity with just the first whisper of peachy viscosity, a tightrope walking exercise in a classic, rich fruit/rich oak/sour acidity fashion that typifies good modern Chardonnay.
Long, detailed, long again and exceptionally well crafted this is wow wine just aching for time in the bottle. The score will only go up from here (once the oak integrates in particular). 18/93++
(If this is what the second label tastes like, I'm excited at how good the 2010 Tiers is going to be...).
Original review can be found here: http://www.ozwinereview.com/2011/08/tapanappa-piccadilly-valley-chardonnay.html