Wine review — Cimicky and Tapanappa

Cimicky Trumps Barossa Valley Shiraz 2007 $17–$20
Charles Cimicky, based at Lyndoch in the southern Barossa Valley, has been on the money with his rich, savoury, regional reds for decades. In the early days they enjoyed a cult following, but as the wines are now distributed nationally by Angoves you’re more likely to find them on retail shelves. Cimicky’s Trumps Shiraz, at around $20, provides a big value introduction to the house style — full, ripe and inviting, in the general Barossa mould, but with complex savoury flavours and a grippy finish that goes so well with food. This is a sophisticated, drink-now regional red at a fair price.

Tapanappa ‘Tiers’ Vineyard Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay 2008 $71.50In 1978
Brian Croser released Petaluma Chardonnay 1977, a pioneering oak-fermented, oak-matured wine of striking quality. It came from warm Cowra and was the forerunner of later Petaluma vintages sourced from Croser’s vineyards in South Australia’s cool Piccadilly Valley. Over time ‘Tiers’, the earliest of those Piccadilly vineyards, produced distinctive wines and ultimately became the flagship Petaluma chardonnay. Today the ‘Tiers’ vineyard remains in Croser family hands and contributes fruit to both Petaluma and Tapanappa. Tapanappa shows the ripe, peachy flavours of the warm year – in a distinctive fresh, very fine style, incorporating the deep texture and flavour complexities of barrel fermentation and maturation.

Tapanappa Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir 2008 $47
South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula gives its name to a wine zone embracing the warm McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek regions – source of generous ripe wines. But the peninsula juts further south, swinging westward into the Great Southern Ocean, producing towards its tip the significantly cooler, wetter climate that lured Brian Croser into planting pinot noir in 2003. This is the second Tapanappa wine from those young vines – and it makes a strong case for Croser’s choice of site. It’s early days yet, and we’ll have to see how the wines mature. But right now it’s a gem – fragrant, finely sculpted and lusciously flavoured, featuring bright fruit notes as well as savouriness and with loads of soft, persistent tannins giving structure.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2009