2007 Tapanappa ‘Etages’ Tiers Chardonnay

Burgundy, France, is the epicenter of the Chardonnay grape’s world, but the world itself has taken on this white grape as it’s own. Chardonnay is one the most widely grown grape varieties in the world and can be found pretty much anywhere wine is made. The problem with this, of course, is a bunch of plonk has gone off and dragged this noble Vitis vinifera down in many drinkers eyes, this is always a downfall of popularity. Add to this a huge surge in the past few decades of over-oaking and over-creative winemakers and it leads to even more difficulty in gaining respect. I have found that all of my white-wine drinking friends fail to list Chardonnays in their preferences, most times because they simply have had too many poor bottles. This wine I am reviewing today is definitely not one of the aforementioned ‘misses’.

Tapanappa may be best described as a perfect reincarnation for the Croser family. After having started up and successfully cultivated Petaluma into such a hit that it was purchased from them, they have since started their second fine wine franchise. Luckily (or extremely intelligent) they were able to manage to secure rights to part of the Tiers Vineyard Chadonnay production which was planted in the late seventies by the Crosers. Already the source for the brilliant Petaluma Tiers, the thoughts were the Crosers would choose the ideal portion of Tiers and make a classic Chardonnay. So far those beliefs have all come true. The 2005 vintage has gotten nothing but huge praise and the 2007 growing season is said to have been similar, if only a slight bit warmer. With that said I was very pleased to have purchased a pair of these back in August on a visit down under. While I slightly overpaid at a more ‘touristy’ wine store (I should have known better to have waited to go to the regular shop on Crown in Redfern, but I was impatient) with the $95 price tag I was not scared off, especially having tasted and bought Petaluma Tiers before. Needless to say Mrs CWG and I were very eager to give this bottle a whirl, and so we did in late December. Here are the impressions!

Wow. I could just leave that there and it covers all that needs to be said. Wow. A fantastic wine. The acidity is perfect, the balance in your mouth is harmonious, the fruit is complimentary, the minerality conjures up thoughts of 1er Crus from Burgundy, and the finish lingers long enough to be pleasant not a pest. Lemons and peaches play together nicely while vanilla and honey occasionally join the party. Maybe I should have just stuck with Wow! Overall this is a classic Chardonnay that with a bit more time in the cellar will be mentioned in the all-star category. If you have the opportunity to purchase a few bottles ensure you do, you will be rewarded.

The CWGSR is 96 out of 100.


About CanadianWineGuy

The Wine Guy, He's Canadian, they call him CanadianWineGuy
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