A cool start to the Autumn, slowed an even budburst in the Tiers Vineyard in early September. Then on September the 17th an early morning frost destroyed 90% of the just emerged primary shoots. The frost was early enough to allow the vigorous development of the secondary shoots and their smaller potential crop.
A cold November interfered with the flowering and fruit set process, further diminishing an already small crop. Then followed two very hot and windy months, December and January, memorable for the fires across Australia.
The heat went away as quickly as it appeared and the Chardonnay grapes in Tiers Vineyard ripened in still and cool air, sunny conditions, ideal Autumnal weather. The seven-month growing season heat above 10C (Growing season degree days-GDD), was 1206C days versus the long-term average of 1066C days. Tiers yielded up its one third of normal crop on the first of April.
The hand harvested Chardonnay grapes from the Tiers Vineyard 1.5M block, were chilled in trays in the
cold-room to 2C. The cold grapes were tipped into our gentle air-bag presses and the whole fruit pressed
juice was pumped to tank before being gravitated to French oak barriques (one third new) for fermentation.
The fermentation lasted two months in the cool autumn conditions.
The wine was barrel aged on full lees until February of 2021 when it was clear racked from barrique and
The in-bottle analysis of Tapanappa Tiers Vineyard 1.5M Chardonnay is:
Total Acid 7.69 g/L
SO2 40 ppm
Volatile Acid 0.58 g/L
Alcohol 13.9 %
Winemaker BRIAN CROSER
The Taste of the Wine
2020 Tiers 1.5M Chardonnay stands alongside its older sibling, the 2020 Tiers Old Block, as an equal but with the subtle differences of its close spaced, French clone, earlier ripening habit. Both wines are truly outstanding vintage examples of the Tiers special terroir.
The Tiers 1.5M is slightly yellower than its older sibling. The aroma is more open and ripe, more of peach than
nectarine and with some elderflower and custard sweetness. The flavour is intense and very fruit ripe and fresh. There is significant texture and fruit sweetness and exceptional length of flavour. The trade mark texture is offset by the acid and grapefruit finishing cut of the Tiers Vineyard.
The delayed ripening of a very small crop in perfect cool, dry and sunny conditions, has defined a very special
Chardonnay from the unique and distinguished Tiers 1.5M Vineyard terroir. 2020 Tiers 1.5M Chardonnay is “a very special vintage of a unique wine defined by a truly distinguished vineyard terroir”.