2016 was the warmest vintage on modern meteorological records in most of the southeast of Australia. If you wish to prove this look at the CliMate site, australianclimate.net.au, and choose the geographical site you wish to examine. Go to How’s the Season?, then Season’s Progress, then select the region you want to look at and finally select Data Type-Heat-Sum base 10C, Starting In-October, Lasting For-7 months.
Scrolling down the array of curves for the chosen location will reveal the heat summation for all years back to 1949 and invariably the curve at the top by a wide margin will be 2015, which is October 2015 through vintage 2016 to April 2016.
The heat summation for the 2016 growing season in the Piccadilly Valley was an extraordinary 1539C days compared to the last 12 years average of 1235C days. The 2016 heat summation is way ahead of the next warmest vintage, 2010 at 1360C days.
2016 vintage was uncharted territory for me even after 47 vintages. Despite the persistent warmth there were no extreme heat events and only 13 days between October 1 and April 30 exceeded 30C and only two of these exceeded 36C.
The sugar levels were very moderate at 23 to 23.5 Brix, the acids surprisingly held up at 7.5gpl (2 grams of malic) and pH’s remained in control at 3.2.
The fruit for Tapanappa 2016 Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay was hand harvested from our own Piccadilly Valley vineyards in the 2nd week of March.
The Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay was hand harvested into 0.5 tonne bins. At the Tapanappa winery, the fruit was destemmed, crushed and must chilled to 2C on the way to the Wilmess Merlin airbag press. The cold juice was lightly pressed to tank and after gravity settling, the partially clarified juice and its fluffy lees were racked to French Vosges oak barriques, 33% new and the balance 1 and 2 use and allowed to ferment at the cool air temperature of the Piccadilly Valley autumn.
The 2016 Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay was left on full lees in barrique until the summer when it was clear racked and prepared for bottling in mid March. The 2016 Tiers Chardonnay was left on full lees in barrique until the summer when it was clear racked and prepared for bottling in mid March.
The in-bottle analysis is:
|Total Acid||7.4 gpl|
The Taste of the Wine
2016 Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay ripened early and fully because of the very warm growing season.
Riper honey and fig characters complement the typical Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay peach and nectarine flavours and aromas and significant texture. Even in a warm year the cool climate characteristics of Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay are strongly evident and especially the touch of grapefruit and crisp acid finish.
2016 Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay “is a pure expression of a unique Australian terroir.”