Tag: Tapanappa Tiers Vineyard Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay

Mar 03 2012

Australia’s Top Ten Aged Chardonnays

Posted on March 03, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Everyone seems to love lists, so I thought I’d put together a list of the top 10 aged Australian Chardonnays, especially since I have had a chance to recently sample back vintages of two that definitely make the list: the Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 1998 and the Savaterre Chardonnay 2004.

A couple of caveats. This list is necessarily retrospective. Chardonnay in Australia is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance at the moment, with brilliant new examples of a more balanced and restrained style winning plaudits from critics and consumers alike. As Fiona Beckett recently noted in The Guardian “of all the wines that Australia produces, [chardonnay] has undergone the most dazzling transformation, reminding us what a sexy, sumptuous, delicious wine chardonnay can be.” (Wine: Australian chardonnay comes of age by Fiona Beckett, The Guardian, 13 January 2012)

The newer examples haven’t yet past the test of time, and while wine critics’ drinking windows certainly suggest great longevity, they haven’t been properly tested. Consequently superbly refined wines like Tapanappa’s Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay and the Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay, which were both first released in 2005 and 2003 respectively, don’t yet have a long enough track record to make the list.

Regular readers of my blog know that I’m a big fan of research, so for inspiration this list draws on the vast knowledge and considerable drinking experience of Australia’s best wine critics. For aged wines, however, you can’t go past the verdict of the consumer, as many of the finest bottles are snapped up for the cellar and then snapped up again on the secondary market.

One of the best gauges of consumer preference is Langton’s Classification of Australian Wines. It is considered “the form guide” for Australia’s best performing and most prized wines. To be considered … Read the rest

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

Adelaide Hills: A Diversity of Wines of Distinction

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

I’m spending next Friday in Adelaide Hills, and in preparation for my trip I thought I would research the best wineries in the region, so I know exactly where to go and what to taste. Hard work, I know!

As many of you are aware, Adelaide Hills has developed an outstanding reputation for sauvignon blanc. Three of the top six 2009 sauvignon blancs (96 points) in James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion 2011 edition are from the Adelaide Hills: Dandelion Vineyards Wishing Clock of the Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc, Geoff Weaver Lenswood Sauvignon Blanc and Shaw + Smith Sauvignon Blanc.

The region is also highly respected for its elegant and complex Burgundian-style chardonnay. Fruit for Penfolds multi-region Yattarna – the 2007 vintage was the highest rated chardonnay (97 points) in Halliday’s Wine Companion, is sourced from the Adelaide Hills. Ashton Hills, Grosset, Michael Hall, Shaw + Smith and Ngeringa also make outstanding examples. Tapanappa, a joint venture between Brian Croser, Jean-Michel Cazes of Chateau Lynch-Bages in Pauillac and Societe Jacques Bollinger, makes the very highly regarded Tiers Vineyard Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay.

Petaluma, of course, makes an excellent range of sparking wines from its Piccadilly Valley  vineyard, including the Croser Piccadilly Valley Pinot Noir Chardonnay NV Sparkling and the vintage Croser Late Disgorged Piccadilly Vally Pinot Noir Chardonnay Sparkling. Piccadilly Valley and Lenswood are the two registered sub-regions of the Adelaide Hills.

I was interested to learn that Shaw + Smith had won the Trophy for Best Australian Shiraz over 10 GBP at the 2009 Decanter World Wine Awards for the 2007 vintage of the Shaw + Smith Shiraz. Most people don’t normally associate the Adelaide Hills with shiraz, but a number of wineries in the area, including Bird in Hand and Romney Read the rest