Brian Croser, a prominent figure in the global wine trade and former Decanter's 'Man of the Year', is a true innovator and pioneer of cool-climate viticulture in Australia.
His Piccadilly Valley-based winery, Tapanappa, became a trendsetter very early on with their Tiers Vineyard, planted back in 1979. It was the first vineyard to be planted in the Adelaide Hills region in the twentieth century. Piccadilly Valley where the Tiers Vineyard is located has a climate comparable to Dijon in Burgundy. It is the second coolest region and has the highest annual rainfall in South Australia, and as a result, Croser is able to craft unique Chardonnay from this plot.
James Halliday (97)This is a spectacular chardonnay, eschewing malolactic in the name of precision and freshness, while sacrificing nothing in the way of flavour and textural detail in doing so. A reductive riff of gunflint segues to notes of white fig, honeydew melon, nectarine and creamed cashew. A chassis of mineral and bright acidity carry the flavours long and broad, chaperoned by high class oak that is nestled into the fray. This will age beautifully over the coming decade, but oozes class and such poise already that it is difficult to refrain from opening a bottle or, at least in my case, finishing the glass.
Ray Jordan (98)Winemaker Brian Croser is pretty excited about this wine, and a quick sniff and extended sip, and I think I know why. Like the rest of Australia, it was a very small crop resulting in a wine of deep fruit concentration. Once again, the wine spent an extended time until February this year on full lees, allowing pick up of further complexity and textural mouth feel. The striking feature is the palate power and length. I have tasted many of these wines but I don’t think I have tasted better.