Tapanappa Picadilly Chardonnay - Pedigreed and Powerful

On the tasting table this week a collective exhale of delight fell upon us after our first sip of Tapanappa’s Piccadilly Chardonnay. It was primal and pristine wrapped in classy oak that kept in step with the powerful core of fruit. We expected it came with a hefty price tag, it didn’t. We were hooked.

If you’re searching for flavour and nuance delivered in a sleek and refined framework, then you’ll love this Adelaide Hills chardonnay from Tapanappa. It charms with its distinguished and beguiling personality. No 2019 was made and we’re already seeing slim pickings coming out of 2020 due to the difficult east coast vintage.

Tapanappa was established in 2002 by three of the wine worlds best minds – Brian Croser, the founder of Petaluma, Jean-Michel Cazes of Chateau Lynch- Bages, Pauillac, Bordeaux and Societe Jacques Bollinger, the parent company of Champagne Bollinger. This union was helped along when Brian’s daughter, Lucy married Xavier Bizot of the Bollinger family.

Brian Croser’s CV is exemplary.  He’s a formidable force in the Australian wine scene, along the way he’s been named Decanter’s Wine Man of the Year and collected an Order of Australia.

Tapping into regional expression, Tapanappa has established vineyards throughout South Australia in the Fleurie Peninsula, Wrattonbully and the Adelaide Hills, in particular Piccadilly Valley where this chardonnay is from. Croser was the first to plant a vineyard in the Adelaide Hills back in 1979, his affinity with the region is innate.

This is a premium expression of Adelaide Hills chardonnay with a humble price tag. It comes from a blend of sites within the Picadilly Valley. A beautiful bold core is the centre feature upon which spicy oak, texture and complexity are layered into the wine. Croser’s thoughts on the wine are evocative and spot-on, ‘The hallmark Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay texture is followed by a long after taste with a slight savoury quince finish. The Piccadilly Valley has clearly confirmed its status as home to “distinguished sites” and the 2018 Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay is an exquisite expression of a unique Australian terroir.’

This is very limited, we’ve managed to secure just 10 dozen. As I mentioned before no 2019 of this wine was made. And 2020 on the east coast of Australia has been fraught with problems. 2018 was a warm vintage yet harvest didn’t begin too early. No heat waves, pristine fruit quality and layer upon layer of flavour development.  This is drinking beautifully now but has lovely stamina to be put into the cellar for a few years.