Tapanappa Tiers Vineyard Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay 2010 $80
Tapanappa Foggy Hill Vineyard Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir 2010 $50
In 2001 Lion Nathan acquired Petaluma (founded in 1976 by Brian Croser). But Croser retained control of the Tiers vineyard, a key source of Petaluma chardonnay. The wine lives on under the Tapanappa label, a joint venture of the Croser family and French families behind Chateau Lynch-Bages and Bollinger Champagne. The finely structured wine delivers juicy, full, ripe-peach varietal flavours, combined with the nutty, spicy characters of fermentation and maturation in oak barrels. I rate Tapanappa’s ripe, fine-boned 2010 pinot noir as the best yet from this new vineyard, planted by Croser in 2003 – inspired by the very cool maritime climate.
Lowe Mudgee Tinja Preservative-free White 2012 $20
Tinja 2012 preservative-free white joins its sulphur-free merlot cellar mate, first released five years ago by Mudgee vigneron David Lowe. The new wine is a blend of verdelho and chardonnay, grown on an organic-in-conversion vineyard, 650 metres above sea level, at Rylstone, within the Mudgee wine region. It’s a fresh, fruity dry white, with quite a firm, savoury dry finish – quite an achievement considering how difficult it is to make sound wine without the protection of sulphur dioxide. The wine’s also low in alcohol, weighing in at just 10 per cent.
Gipsie Jack Langhorne Creek “The Terrier” Shiraz Cabernet 2007 $15–$17
Winemaker John Glaetzer’s ties with Langhorne Creek (near Lake Alexandrina) stretch back to the 1960s and his days with Wolf Blass and the creation of the famous grey and black label reds. The area has been called “Australia’s middle palate” – a salute to the generous, rounded flavours of its reds wine so loved by big-company blenders. But in this collaboration between Glaetzer and Ben Potts, Langhorne’s unblended richness stands on its own – a big, warm, friendly wine with a couple of years’ bottle age. Ripe, earthy shiraz leads the flavour, but cabernet’s backbone and distinctive eucalypt notes make an appearance, too.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2012
First published 17 June 2012 in The Canberra Times