wines of Tapanappa,
I introduced the wines of Tapanappa
on this site some time ago, in a report on a visit to Brian Croser in
the Adelaide Hills. Now I've tried the two latest releases, I thought
I'd gather the information on this interesting new project here, in
Tapanappa is the new super premium label launched by Croser in
collaboration with Bollinger and Jean Michel Cazes. The first wine
the 2003 Whalebone Vineyard red, which comes from a vineyard just outside the Coonawarra
appellation, in Wrattonbully. Brian first made a wine from this vineyard,
which was then known as Koppamurra, in 1980 for
Geoff Weaver, and was so impressed by it that heís been trying to
buy the vineyard ever since. This pursuit took 22 years.
The vineyard now has 30 year old vines, with yields of a
ton an acre (15 hl/ha). The soil is 800 000 years old, and thereís a
cave under the vineyard which contains the skeleton of a Eubalena
australis, the southern right whale, hence the name and the label
second wine to be released is a Chardonnay from
his Tiers vineyard (see note below), and a further release will be a Pinot Noir from the Fleurieu Peninsula, and no
doubt more wines will follow from distinguished sites in Australia and perhaps
also in Europe.
was interesting to get a chance to try the 2004 Whalebone components
from cask in October 2005. Brian explained
that the Cabernet contributes aromas, the Merlot structure and the
Shiraz the flavours. Tasting these samples this becomes clear: on
their own, none of these would be complete wines, but you can see what
they might bring to a blend.
2004 Cabernet Sauvignon (cask sample)
Lovely sweet supple nose with a spicy, gingery edge. Supersmooth
supple structure. Rich, ripe, but elegant. Chocolatey finish. Very
2004 Merlot (cask sample)
Quite vivid with a subtle green edge. Nice weight and structure,
too. This has more definition. Spicy and tannic.
2004 Shiraz (cask sample)
This has a different mouthfeel: itís showing sweet liquoricey
fruit with a fuller mid-palate. Ripe and full, this is quite weighty
but not too well defined.
Tapanappa 2004 Cabernet Franc (cask sample)
Nicely expressive Cabernet Franc character: this has a subtle
leafy aromatic element and nice spicy structure. Interesting.
Now, tasted more than a year later,
here's my note on the final wine.
Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard
Cabernet Shiraz 2004 Wrattonbully, South Australia
Sweet perfumed nose of red and black fruits with a bit of
Coonawarra-like minerality. There's really nice balance here and it is
smooth and complex. The palate has sweet rounded fruit countered by
firm but silkily-textured tannins. It comes across as quite new-worldy
in its sweetness, but there's good depth and complexity here. The
hallmark of this wine is superb balance: unlike many Coonawarra
Cabernets, there's less of the minerally, gravelly greenness, and the
extra ripeness makes this a more complete wine. 94/100
Released for the first time with the
2005 vintage is the Chardonnay from the Tiers Vineyard surrounding
Brian's house in the Adelaide Hills. The fruit from this vineyard was
previously used in the Petaluma Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay, and prior
to this the regular Petaluma Chardonnay.
Tapanappa 'Etages' Tiers Vineyard
Chardonnay 2005 Piccadilly Valley, Adelaide Hills, Australia
650 cases made. This is boldly flavoured and quite minerally, with
nice complexity. On the nose there's a persistent mineral note behind
the tight but full flavoured fruit and well integrated toasty oak.
There's some lemony freshness. It's nicely poised with complex
flavours and some freshness: lots of potential for development here.
For the sake of
completeness, here's my note on the inaugural release of the Whalebone
Vineyard, which was tasted in October 2005:
Whalebone Vineyard Cabernet Shiraz 2003
Very smooth textured with some fruit sweetness, and
nice creamy, spicy notes. The striking aspect is the smooth, silky,
tannic structure. Itís really elegant, and it will be interesting to
see how this wine evolves. It isn't an obviously Australian wine,
while at the same time you wouldn't place it in Europe. Smooth and
elegant is how I'd describe it. Very good/excellent 92/100
also: interview with Brian Croser
these wines with wine-searcher.com
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