2010 Vintage Conditions
The 2010 vintage in the Piccadilly Valley was warm. Although there were no heat waves like those in 2008 and 2009, 2010 was nearly 16% warmer at 1360°C days heat accumulation over the growing season than the long-term average of 1177°C days.
The biggest spike of heat occurred early in the growing season. In November the heat was nearly double the normal. This accelerated the plant growth and fruiting processes ensuring a very early vintage.
The younger close spaced (1.5m x 1.5m) Dijon clone Chardonnay vines on rootstocks in The Tiers Vineyard were harvested on the 11th of March, 3 weeks earlier than normal.
The hand harvested Chardonnay grapes were de-stemmed, crushed and chilled to an airbag press and only the free run juice and very light pressings were separated for Tapanappa’s Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay.
The juice was settled for 48 hours then racked and gravitated to French Vosges Forest oak barriques (50% new) with an addition of our own local yeast strain. Fermentation in barrique was complete after 10 days. The wine was left in barrique to have malo- lactic fermentation, promoted by stirring the lees every two weeks.
When malo-lactic was complete the wine was racked clear and given a small addition of SO2. After 10 months in barrique the clear wine was again racked and then bottled without filtration on the 16th of February 2011.
The in bottle analysis is: Alcohol,12.8%, pH 3.04, Total Acid, 6.8gpl, Sugar 0.5gpl, Volatile Acid 0.38gpl.
2010 Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay has ripe peach flavours and aromas. Because of the warm vintage there are no melon skin nuances as there are in cooler years in the Piccadilly Valley and the fruit is completely ripe.
Despite the warm year, the structure of Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay is typically savoury with a moderate alcohol and refreshing acid finish to a significant mouth feel and viscosity, the hallmarks of Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay.
The nuances of spicy oak, yeast lees and full malo-lactic fermentation build the complexity of flavour and aroma expected of the best examples of this wonderful variety. 2010 Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay “is a pure expression of the unique Piccadilly Valley terroir.”