Established in 2002, Tapanappa wines are owned by Brian Croser (famous for distinguished winemaking and formerly of Petaluma), Jean-Michel Cazes of Chateau Lynch-Bages in Pauillac and Société Jacques Bollinger, the parent company of Champagne Bollinger. As you can imagine such expertise coming together quickly reached icon status in this 5-star (from Halliday) winery venture (http://www.tapanappawines.com.au/).

Tapanappa wines were presented at this month’s Wine Ark tasting (http://www.wine-ark.com.au/)  (along with Torbreck wines and Dom du Pegau – what a treat!). All the wines display “old world” (in this case, French) fine winemaking skills seamlessly integrated into the unique Australian terroir (terroir, pronounced “te wah”, is a French word that describes the unique aspects of a vineyard (in terms of geology, geography and climate) that influence the characters of the wine made from it). The result? Iconic Australian wines of distinction, made with minimal intervention, expressing each individual vineyard site. Tapanappa is located at the Whalebone vineyard in Wrattonbully, the Tiers Vineyard in Piccadilly and the Foggy Hill Vineyard in Fleurieu Peninsula. Their wines are single vineyard expressions of these sights. Tasting notes:

Tapanappa Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay (Piccadilly Valley) 2008 – Intense and prominent fruit flavour (white nectarine, peach) with elegant acidity and seamlessly integrated oak which adds to the body and texture/mouthfeel. Along with the fruit flavour there’s also a savoury element that balances the whole wine. Great length. Rrp around $80. Cellar up to 10 years, but is drinking beautifully from now.

Tapanappa Foggy Hill Pinot Noir (Fleurieu Peninsula) 2009 – My personal favourite! Hint of something floral on the nose, intense red and black fruits with good depth of the black fruits and spices (think liqorice and anise), with silky, savoury tannins and good length. Strong but smooth and elegant – Iron fist in a velvet glove… rrp around $50.

Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard (Wrattonbully) Merlot 2006 – Concentrated red fruits and plums with hints of fresh earth, savoury spice and herbal characters. Tannins provide a prominent grip while wine remains plush. Rrp around $70.

Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard (Wrattonbully) Cabernet Shiraz 2006 – Savoury characters with mulberry and blackberry, silky smoothness but with full body and flavour. Rrp around $70.

These wines compliment any wine collection or make a great gift of something special and unique as only limited amounts are made. Cheers!

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