Wine Companion 2020

Author: James Halliday
Source: Halliday Wine Companion 2020
Review Date: Aug 2019

Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
This is the oldest of the three Tiers Vineyard blocks, with 2ha planted in ’70 of what Croser calls the OF clones, which has a history to make Conan Doyle happy. It’s a Californian clone that was eradicated there because of leaf roll virus – the cuttings were not infected when Croser brought them to Australia. The vinification was the same as for the 1.5m, but this is decidedly more complex than its sibling, confidently filling the mouth with balanced fruit flavours.
96 points (2031)

Tiers Vineyard 1.5m Chardonnay 2017
Hand-picked into shallow trays and cooled to 2 degrees C, then tipped direct into the press, fermented at ambient temperatures, none allowed to undergo mlf. The acidity is a positive feature of the wine, with white peach and a hint of grapefruit on the bouquet and palate. Boasts the longest palate, but you have to accept the acidity.
96 points (2029)

Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay 2017
Hand-picked, destemmed, crushed and pressed to a refrigerated tank, gravity-settled, the partially clarified juice racked to French barriques (33% new), bottled Feb ’18. Elegant and fresh, with Granny Smith apple, stone fruit and pear all contributing, as does oak.
95 points (2027)

Definitus Pinot Noir 2017
A 500-dozen make from the central blocks of the vineyard. ‘17 gave Foggy Hill the growing season and vintage it craved for. In terms of varietal character, texture, structure, balance and length the wine can’t be faulted. It is by some distance the best Foggy Hill Pinot Noir made to date. What will the ensuing vintages provide?
97 points (2032)

Whalebone Vineyard Cabernet Shiraz 2015
85% cabernet from the Whalebone Vineyard, 15% shiraz from the adjoining Crayeres Vineyard, matured for 20 months in French barriques (50% new). Holding its hue well. Is possibly in a phase of maturation leading to slight thinning of the back-palate.
94 points (2035)

Whalebone Vineyard Merlot Cabernet Franc 2015
The two varieties were picked and vinified separately, albeit with timing differences. All hand-picked, destemmed, partially crushed, chilled, 10-day fermentation, the fermenters then sealed for 7 days, then pressed to French barriques (50% new), the final blend 69/31%. Very good colour; delicious wine, great mouthfeel and fruit definition, silky tannins. Length is a plus.
97 points (2035)

Eden Valley Riesling 2018
At a guess, the grapes come from the highest parts of the Eden Valley. Regardless, it ticks the boxes of a highly floral blossom bouquet, a pure flow of Meyer lemon and lime with acidity providing the river banks.
95 points (2030)

Adelaide Hills Shiraz 2016
From the Shining Rock Vineyard planted in ’96 by none other than Brian Croser (but under separate ownership until ’16). It’s a very good expression of Adelaide Hills shiraz, replete with black pepper, warm spice and licorice threaded through its blackberry and satsuma plum flavours, oak and tannins in dutiful support.
96 points (2041)

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