2018 vintage was very warm in Tapanappa’s Piccadilly Valley vineyards.
Although amongst the warmest vintages on record, 2018 Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay was harvested on the long-term average date of March 26.
2018 Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay harvest date of 26th of March was preceded by the 2017 harvested on the 13th of April, the latest ever and by the 2016 harvested on the 12th of March, the earliest ever.
I have labelled 2018 “Another hot one” because the heat summation for the growing season was 1511º C days versus the average of 1058 ºC days (Mt. Lofty), not quite as warm as 2016 at 1583C days but warmer than 2017 at 1303C days.
It is obvious 2018 should be earlier than 2017 but why was it on average rather than earlier like 2016?
The answer is that a lot of the above average heat in 2018 was at night. Higher but still moderate night temperatures don’t affect vine physiology as much as higher day temperatures.
The January to March rainfall in the Piccadilly Valley was less than half of the average rainfall.
Despite being warm and dry there were no heat-waves in the Piccadilly Valley for the 2018 vintage. The Piccadilly Valley vineyards delivered disease free, thoroughly ripe Chardonnay fruit in perfect condition and at moderate sugar levels.
2018 Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay was hand harvested into 0.5 tonne bins and delivered to the Tapanappa Winery.
The Chardonnay fruit was destemmed, roller crushed, chilled to 2ºC and delivered into Willmes air bag presses. The free run and lightly pressed cold juice was pressed to a refrigerated tank. After a short 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.
The Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay was seeded with our own yeast culture and allowed to ferment in the cool air temperature of the Piccadilly Valley autumn.
2018 Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay was allowed to sit on full fermentation lees until clear racking in January of 2019.
2018 Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay was bottled in February 2019.
The in-bottle analysis is:
|Total Acid||8.2 gpl|
The Taste of the Wine
2018 Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay is a ripe fruit expression of the unique Piccadilly Valley terroir from a warm vintage.
Pale lemon in colour, 2018 Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay has a ripe peach and fig aroma and flavours to match. The subtle complexity of marzipan and vanilla oak complements the fresh fruit.
The hallmark Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay texture is followed by a long after taste with a slight savoury quince finish.
The Piccadilly Valley has clearly confirmed its status as home to “distinguished sites” and the 2018 Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay “is an exquisite expression of a unique Australian terroir.”