Tag: Geoff Weaver

Sep 09 2011

Tapanappa Dinner with Brian Croser

Posted on September 09, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

On Wednesday night I was fortunate to sample the Tapanappa Wines’ range with winemaker Brian Croser. Organised by Vintage Cellars Double Bay and held at Darlinghurst’s La Brasserie, the dinner offered a chance to drink superb wines with terrific French food under the tutelage of one of the most important contributors to the development of the Australian wine industry.

Croser started Petaluma in 1976 and built a strong portfolio of brands which he also eventually sold to Lion Nathan in 2001. While disheartened to lose his beloved Petaluma to a multi-national, Croser soon saw the sale as an opportunity to launch a new phase in his career. In 2002 he formed Tapanappa Wines as a partnership with Jean-Michel Cazes of Château Lynch-Bages, Bordeaux and Société Jacques Bollinger, the parent company of Champagne Bollinger.

When Croser started Petaluma, he was one of the first to recognise the importance of identifying the best region for the planting of a particular variety. Today he even more passionate about matching varieties to only the best suited terroir, believing Australia’s future success as a premium wine producer depends on its ability to define and promote its “60 fine wine regions…24 of which are as cool or cooler than Bordeaux in France.” (Brian Croser’s answer to Oz wine travails, JancisRobinson.com)

Tapanappa’s chardonnay comes from the Tiers Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills, the pinot noir from the Foggy Hill Vineyard on the Fleurieu Peninsula and the cabernet and merlot from the Whalebone Vineyard in Wrattonbully.

At the dinner the Picadilly Valley Chardonnay 2009 (Museum Release) and the Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay 2008 were paired with a delicious horseradish cured salmon with buckwheat blini, creme fraiche and smoked roe.

Both wines hail from the same vineyard, but the Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay is sourced … Read the rest

Apr 04 2011

Geoff Weaver: Taking Australian Sauvignon Blanc in a New Direction

Posted on April 04, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

In my post, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Master Class, 2 March 2011, I talked about how New Zealand winemakers had developed new styles of sauvignon blanc that, while retaining the style’s signature vibrant acidity, exhibit more restrained fruit tropical aromatics and a more evolved mid-palate with a longer, creamier finish.

In Australia, Geoff Weaver of the eponymous Adelaide Hills winery has taken Australia’s sauvignon blanc in a new direction with his Ferus Sauvignon Blanc. As Weaver explains, the aim was to create a wine reflective of its vineyard origin and with as little intervention as possible.

Like his innovative New Zealand counterparts, Weaver uses indigenous yeast from the vineyard. The wine spends 12 months on lees in second use French oak barriques with some stirring.  The result is a rich yet understated and less fruity aromatic sauvignon blanc with a rich mid-palate exhibiting creamy and lanolin notes, and a lingering mineral finish.

First made in 2004, the wine has been very well received.  James Halliday gave the 2009 vintage 96 points and included it in his Top 100 Wines for 2010:

This is “the other” Weaver sauvignon blanc, wild fermented in French oak barriques and given 12 months lees contact. No acid was added nor was the wine fined. A striking contrast to all other Australian sauvignon blancs that delivers great complexity and equally great intensity. It also has greater longevity than other sauvignon blancs. (James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion)

Geoff Weaver also makes the highly acclaimed Lenswood Sauvignon Blanc and the Lenswood Chardonnay. Other top wines from the range include rieslingpinot noir and  cabernet sauvignon merlot.

Weaver is one of the pioneers of the Adelaide Hills regions. The former chief winemaker for Hardy’s, Weaver, and his wife Judith. planted the vineyard … Read the rest

Nov 11 2010

Why Drinking Only Aussie Wine in January is a Great Opportunity!

Posted on November 11, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

My initial reaction to the campaign by McLaren Vale winemaker Stephen Pannell to ask Australians to pledge to drink only Aussie wine in January was phew! Well at least we can still drink French Champagne on New Year’s Eve!

As Rebecca Gibb reported in her article,  Aussie petition accused of protectionism, Decanter.com, 24 November 2010, Pannell has caused a bit of controversy with his online petition, All for One Wine, which invites people to pledge that they will only drink Australian wine from 1 January to 26 January 2011 (Australia Day!)

I can understand why the Kiwis aren’t happy about the campaign (Australia is New Zealand’s biggest export market for wine), but accusations that Pannell’s promotion amounts to protectionism are surely not justified. After all, he’s not asking retailers to pull the foreign stuff off the shelf, he is just advocating that consumers buy local wines for 26 days (not even a whole month)!

Shortly after I had read the article about Pannell’s campaign, I drove out to my nearest Dan Murphy’s to stock up on some Xmas grog! Not the biggest Dan Murphy’s in the country, but still numerous aisles of mainly Australian and, yes, New Zealand wines. Despite the impressive selection, however, I was actually struck by the omissions. Of the approximately 2,300 wineries in Australia, I’m guessing that only a couple of hundred at the most were represented!

So I really think Pannell has a point when he says that he sees the campaign as an opportunity for Australians to “discover incredible local wines, and celebrate the rich diversity and quality that exists in this country.”

Yes, New Zealand makes very fine sauvignon blanc, but so does Australia! Dandelion Vineyards, Geoff Weaver and Shaw & Smith are just a few of the dozen or … Read the rest