In a nutshell: A bold and broad flavoured, premium South Australian Chardonnay from the Adelaide Hills.
The lowdown: Tapanappa Estate's Brian Croser is one of the legends of Australian winemaking. He started the famous, premium Petaluma Estate in the '70s and then in the early 2000s Tapanappa. He describes the Tiers Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills - the first planted in this now well regarded wine region - exclusively plntyed with Chardonnay and literally next to his house of four decades, as his 'fourth child'. He knows every plant, rock and vintage. This shows and this is undoubtedly one of the best New World Chardonnays from one of the best winemakers. Fermented in French oak and aged on its lees for arund nine months it has ripe and fresh fruit aromas anf flavours of peach and fig. The subtle complexity of oak vanilla and brioche from the yeast lees complement the fruit character really well. It lingers long in the mouth at the finish which has a lovely slightly savoury note.
When to drink: Wonderfully delicious and mouthfilling, this is just the thing to go with pan fried fish or all sorts of poultry dishes.
Tapanappa was created in 2002 as a joint venture between the highly regarded Brian Croser, the Champagne house Bollinger and Jean-Michel Cazes of Bordeaux's Château Lynch Bages. Brian had first built his name as the founder of the highly successful Petaluma Winery which he had just sold to the drinks conglomerate Lion Nathan. Brian was very much the driver of the project and whose objective was to show that with the right approach the terroir of South Australia was capable of producing single vineyard wines which were the equal of the best of Europe and the northern hemisphere. In 2014 the Croser family was able to acquire complete ownership of the company from their partners and together with being able to buy back the former Petaluma winery in the Piccadilly Valley just outside Adelaide meant that they were once again able to pursue their mission as they saw fit.
Their range is built around three vineyards in different parts of South Australia. The first of these being the Tiers Vineyard which, in 1979, was the first to be planted in the Adelaide Hills and from where Brian pioneered cool climate viticulture in this part of the state and is where their Chardonnays come from. To the south in Wrattonbully, near Coonawarra, their Whalebone vineyard, which they acquired shortly after establishing Tapanappa, was planted in 1974 and is from where their Cabernet, Merlot and Shiraz wines are grown. And on the Fleurieu Peninsula their Foggy Hill Vineyard is home to their Pinot Noirs.
Today the estate is managed by Brian's daughter Lucy and her husband Xavier Bizot. Their objectives remain very much the same which is to demonstrate that the fine wines of South Australia can rank alongside the best in the world.