Wine Behind the Label – Tapanappa Wines

Author: David Moore (Ed.)
Source: Wine Behind The Label
Review Date: Oct 2010

In its 7th edition, the respected UK publication Wine Behind the Label moved to an online format. The latest release  also named Tapanappa winemaker Brian Croser as star winemaker for the southern hemisphere.

The results were:

  • Europe: Ernest Loosen of Dr Loosen, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer & Eroica (Washington State)
  • Americas: Robert Levy of Harlan Estate & Bond Estates, Napa Valley
  • Southern Hemisphere: Brian Croser of Tapanappa, South Australia & Santa Rita Maipo, Chile

This is illustrious company to be in and a great recognition of Brian’s winemaker skills.

The full Tapanappa entry is as follows:

Brian Croser’s new project is a partnership with Bordeaux’s Jean-Michel Cazes (Ch. LYNCH-BAGES) and BOLLINGER – who were a former partner with Croser at PETALUMA. Tapanappa acquired the Koppamurra Vineyard prior to the 2003 and have restructured the vines and renamed the site the Whalebone Vineyard.

The Wrattonbully region has similar but older weathered limestone (Terra Rossa/Terra Rosa) soils to those found in Coonawarra. It is also slightly warmer. The grapes are hand-picked, a cold soak is employed and following malolactic fermentation in barriques the wine is aged in new French oak for 20 months.

The first Cabernet Shiraz (mostly Cabernet Sauvignon) was made in 03. The
04 exhibits the finesse that Croser has always achieved in his reds. Nuanced and expressive with perfect ripeness an intense deep core with an essence of crushed black fruits is enveloped in ripe, compact tannins. It should be cellared for 10 years but will keep much longer.

In addition Croser’s now celebrated Tiers Chardonnay is being produced under the Tapanappa label – and is once again a wine of remarkable structure, intensity and mineral purity. Look for older vintages of Tiers under the Petaluma label.

Brian Croser seems certain to produce several more fine single vineyard wines while additionally continuing to consult for Petaluma.

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