The Tiers Vineyard was planted in 1979, the first vineyard in the Piccadilly Valley since the 19th century. The vineyard is close-spaced and vertical canopy, the first of this quality focussed design in Australia. The clone of Chardonnay in “old” Tiers is of unknown origins but probably relates to the first introduction of Chardonnay vines to Australia in the 19th century.
Like the 2021 vintage before it, the 2022 vintage in the Piccadilly Valley as “near perfect”. The 2022 vintage was marginally warmer, 1176C-days, versus the long-term average of 1098C-days.
We have now had three successive cooler vintages, (indeed 4 as I observe the evolving 2023 vintage), after the near unrelenting warmth of the previous decade of vintages.
The Chardonnay crop was very modest in the Tiers old block at 5 tonnes/hectare.
The Chardonnay grapes in the 43-year-old Tiers Vineyard ripened in still and cool air, sunny conditions, ideal autumnal weather.
Tiers Vineyard old block yielded up its exceptional quality fruit on the 6th and 7th of April, two weeks later than average.
The hand harvested Chardonnay grapes from the Tiers Vineyard old block (1979), 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 December of 2022 when it was clear racked from barrique and bottled in January of 2023.
Total Acid 8.5 g/L
Volatile Acid 0.51 gpl
Winemaker BRIAN CROSER
The Taste of the Wine
Of the past three wonderful vintages in Tiers Vineyard, 2022 was the coolest. The colour is pale lemon green.
The aroma is of perfectly ripe Chardonnay fruit, ripe nectarine with a hint of flint smoke, yeast cashew and oak spice. The flavour is intense and fresh with fruit sweetness and a substantial texture. The edge of acid and the slight astringency and bitterness of the grapefruit finish, perfectly offset the fruit sweetness and texture that are the hallmarks of Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay.