2009 is the first release of a Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay, a true Wine of Terroir. Tapanappa obtains its Chardonnay fruit from the Croser family vineyards in the Piccadilly Valley, now 15 to 30 years old. Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay ($39.90 RRP) complements the Single Vineyard Tapanappa Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay ($80 RRP).
The 2009 vintage in the Piccadilly Valley was cooler than average accumulating 1159°C days of heat for the growing season versus the average of 1172°C days.
The short but intense heat wave of late January and early February had little effect on the development of the fruit, which ripened in moderate and very dry conditions through February and March and was harvested between the 25th of March and the 2nd of April. The composition of the fruit at harvest was exemplary at 24% Brix sugar, pH 3.11 and natural acid of 7.4 gpl and the flavours were fresh and ripe.
2009 Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay was made in a traditional way. The juice was extracted gently from the crushed grapes and only the free run and gentle first pressings were included. After a short settling time the partially clarified juice was fermented in a mixture of new (30%) and two and three use barriques made from the oak of the Vosges Forest in eastern France near Alsace.
At the finish of primary fermentation the barriques were stirred (battonage) to mix the yeast lees and to promote malo-lactic fermentation. At the completion of malo-lactic fermentation the wine was carefully clear racked and bottled. (Alc. 12.8%, pH 3.0, Acid 6.3 gpl as tartaric, Sugar 0.75 gpl, VA 0.49 gpl).
The Taste of the Wine
2009 Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay is a reflection of a very good cooler than average vintage in the very cool Piccadilly Valley, which is perfectly suited to Chardonnay.
The aromas are subtle and delicate despite the fruit ripeness and the barrel and malo-lactic fermentations. In 2009 the usual white peach aroma of Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay is toned down to nectarine and melon fruit complemented by cashew and cinnamon oak and lees characters. The usual full texture of Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay is present and the finish of the wine is savoury with the naturally high acid and moderate alcohol providing a refreshing and balanced finish.