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The ‘Tiers Vineyard’ is the oldest block of Chardonnay planted in the Adelaide Hills, established in 1979.
In 2003, Brian Crozer opted to replant a section of the vineyard to Burgundian Chardonnay clones. The vines spaced only 1.5m apart have yielded intense fruit from early in their life.
“This unique section of The Tiers Vineyard produces earlier ripening, fuller flavoured Chardonnay than the 1979 old vine,” say Crozer. They yeild a wine of high impact, full figure and razor-sharp acidity.
This is a powerful Chardonnay that commands attention.
What It Tastes Like
“Stonefruit, white flowers, almond meal, almost a mint perfume, and fine spicy oak. Medium bodied, ripe fruit, but with citrus and firm flinty texture as a foil, almond gloss, intensity, and a huge push through the finish with ripe lemon and biscuitty flavour, and that flinty precision as farewell. You could decant if drinking now, though I’ say it needs time in bottle more than anything.” - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
95 points “ This comes from a section of the Tiers Vineyard replanted in ‘03, to different clones and with closer spacing; earlier-ripening, fuller-flavoured fruit than the ‘79 old vines. Citrus blossom and white peach aromas with a touch of mealy, nutty oak in the background. Ripe but restrained flavours, lovely line of fine acidity through the palate to a fresh finish.”
- James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
94+ points “Stonefruit, white flowers, almond meal, almost a mint perfume, and fine spicy oak. Medium bodied, ripe fruit, but with citrus and firm flinty texture as a foil, almond gloss, intensity, and a huge push through the finish with ripe lemon and biscuitty flavour, and that flinty precision as farewell. You could decant if drinking now, though I’ say it needs time in bottle more than anything.”
- Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
94 points. “Light yellow colour; the aroma fresh, fruit-driven and yet not fruity. It’s Chablis-like. There are stony nuances, earthy and straw-like, the palate lean and refined, intense and dry to finish. The oak, lees and possibly man-driven complexities emerge gradually as the wine airs. It tastes subtle and gently wooded, with a restrained intensity. Very pleasant drinking - and promising more in the future. (Vines planted 1.5m apart)”
- Huon Hooke (Huonhooke.com)
History In 2003 the Croser family removed 1.3 hectares of the original Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay, planted in 1979 in the Piccadilly Valley as the first Adelaide Hills vineyard. The area was replanted with the French Bernard clones 76 and 95 on rootstocks on very close spacing and at only 0.5 meters above the ground. This unique section of The Tiers Vineyard produces earlier ripening, fuller flavoured Chardonnay than the 1979 old vine, OF clone Chardonnay on own roots across the centre road in The Tiers Vineyard.
Vintage Notes The Piccadilly Valley welcomed the Croser family back into the Tapanappa Winery with a typical cool weather vintage of exemplary quality. The winter provided average rainfall and replenished the subsoil but from August to December very dry conditions prevailed, The Tiers Vineyard receiving just 40% of normal rain.
The three spring months and December were much warmer than average, only exceeded by the temperatures preceding vintage 2016 and vintage 2010. The warm dry conditions led to an early and perfect flowering and fruit-set in the Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay and a balanced crop of 8 tonnes/hectare.
After December, the ripening months were cooler than average by about the same amount as the first three months were above average. Hence the 2015, seven month vintage heat summation coincided with the long-term average of 1173 C days. A January rain event relieved developing stress in the vines.
The Tiers 1.5m section was hand harvested on the 16th of March and so unique is this small area of Chardonnay that we made the decision to bottle it separately in the glorious 2015 vintage.
Winemaking Notes Hand harvested Tiers 1.5m Chardonnay grapes were destemmed, crushed and chilled to the new Willmes Merlin airbag press. The 2C free-run juice combined with the light pressings was settled briefly then racked and gravitated to French Vosges oak barriques (33% new) for a cool autumn air fermentation.
As soon as the fermentation was finished the barriques were topped and the wine was left to mature on full yeast lees. In the summer the wine was clear racked off lees in preparation for bottling in mid March 2016.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2029
The Adelaide Hills may be the most energised wine region in the country. The sense of exploration and creativity amongst the tribe of talented young winemakers in this region is unparralelled. The Hills has become crucible of Australian wine talent, offering an array of varieties, from classics such as Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, to new varieties like Nebbiolo and Grüner Veltliner for the younger generation to play with. Every vintage brings new colour and complexity to the rich wine, food and produce culture of this cool climate region.
Australian Chardonnay is a seductive variety that comes in all shapes and sizes. From the toasty and voluptuous to the lean, flinty and minerally, there is a Chardonnay out there to suit everyone. Australia’s developing prowess with this variety has been marked by the international community with wine writers such as Jancis Robinson marvelling at the outstanding value to be had right across the country. The prestige brands of Margaret River offer wines of deep flavour and power, often crafting fuller-figured Chardonnay of outstanding quality. The cooler-climate wines from the Yarra Valley, Tasmania and the like are more focused and linear, building complexity around a backbone of pristine acidity. Whatever your preference, there is an Australian Chardonnay to enchant all comers.
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