In 2019 we celebrated the 40th birthday of the wonderful Tiers Vineyard, a truly distinguished site.
The defining moments of the 2019 vintage were at fruit set at the end of November.
Cold, windy and wet weather disrupted the flowering process and resulted in a tiny crop, the smallest since 2014. In 2019 vintage, the yield from Tiers Vineyard was 60% of average, a mere 4 tonnes/hectare.
2019, although warmer than average, was a return to more moderate vintage conditions than 2016 or 2018. The growing season heat summation at the Tiers Vineyard was 1464
°C-days versus the average of 1093°C-days. Growing season rainfall was just 75% of average.
In summary 2019 is a very high quality, warm and dry vintage, honouring the time- tested aphorism “the best quality wine is made from a cool climate vineyard in a warm year.”
2019 Tiers Chardonnay was hand harvested on the 18th of March at a sugar level of 23.6 Brix, pH 3.1, total acid (cold stable) of 6.3gpl and a high natural malic acid content of 2.83gpl.
The Tiers Old Chardonnay was hand harvested into shallow trays and cooled to 2oC in the cold room at Tapanappa Winery, adjacent to the vineyard. The whole bunches of Tiers Chardonnay were tipped from the trays into the Willmes Merlin airbag press. The juice was gently pressed from the bunches, into a settling 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 Tiers Chardonnay was seeded with our own yeast culture and allowed to ferment in the cool air temperature of the Piccadilly Valley autumn.
None of the 2019 Tiers Old Chardonnay went through malo-lactic fermentation because of the warmer than average vintage and the whole was allowed to sit on full fermentation lees until clear racking in January of 2020.
2019 Tiers Chardonnay was bottled in February 2020.
The post bottling analysis of 2019 Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay is
The Taste of the Wine
Because of the small crop, 2019 Tiers Chardonnay is exquisitely concentrated.
Pale green/lemon in colour, the aroma is of nectarine, green fig and the bouquet is of subtle yeast and faint oak spice.
Absolutely typical of Tiers, the wine has a significant texture.
The aromas and flavours are tightly wound in this young Chardonnay and it will take some time to fully open up.
The bright finishing acid and slight grape fruit bitterness lend a suitable end to the sweet fruit core of the wine.
2019 Tapanappa Tiers Chardonnay is “a very ageworthy expression of this unique Australian terroir”.