Another data point for the Chardonnay trail, an unofficial series of notes on examples of this variety that have been accumulating on my blog in recent weeks.
This time it's off to Australia - the Piccadilly Valley of South Australia, to be precise. This one's from a famous vineyard, but it's a new wine. It's the first release of the Tapanappa Chardonnay (2005), which comes from Brian Croser's Tiers vineyard (pictured), which until this year was used to make Petaluma Chardonnay (and in more recent years the single-vineyard Tiers bottling).
I can't think of many (if any) better Chardonnays from Australia. It's boldly flavoured but not at all fat, with a lovely minerally complexity. The oak is well integrated and there is huge potential for development. It's a wine you can drink now, but rarely for Australian Chardonnay this will likely improve over the next 5-7 years, rather than just survive, and if I had a few bottles of this I'd not be tempted to crack them too early. As an aside, the label design is lovely, and the cork is physically perfect - it's one of the best looking corks I've ever seen. 450 cases made