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2015 Tapanappa Fleurieu Pinot Noir

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Tapanappa is the brand of industry icon Brian Croser, a legend of Australian wine who famously founded one of the most important winemaking schools in Australia; started the Petaluma wine group and served on just about every wine body in the country. One of Brian's pet projects is the Foggy Hill Vineyard - a windy, isolated plot on the Fleurieu Peninsula that he believes has the potential to make some of the best Pinot in the country.

Typically, Brian makes just one wine from this plot - the Tapanappa Foggy Hill Pinot, but in 2015, things didn't go to plan. In fact, Brian was so unimpressed with how the 2015 season panned out that he bottled all of this Pinot under this second label instead. Of course he didn't come to this decision until after the wine was made - which meant it received the same expensive oak maturation and A1 winemaking as the $60 flagship release! Typically, now the wine is in bottle Brian is regretting the decision too, lamenting how superb the wine now tastes!

Needless to say, this is one hell of a bargain Pinot Noir. If you blind tasted this you’d be very hard-pressed to tell the difference between this wine and many of the full Foggy vintage releases. It's that good. Pinot lovers you need to get on this absolute bargain wine right now!

Winemaker's Notes

Vintage Notes: The 2015 vintage season at the Foggy Hill Vineyard was a season in two parts. The early growth months of spring were very warm and then it cooled down dramatically in December through the ripening months of summer and early autumn.
The heat summation for the Foggy Hill Vineyard for the growing season was 1113C days versus the long-term average of 1135C days. The spring was very dry at 42% of normal rain and the combination of warm and dry early conditions precipitated an early bud burst, flowering and fruit set. The ideal flowering conditions created a potentially large crop that required significant fruit thinning at veraison.
Because the dry conditions had dried out the topsoil, the vines tipped into the ripening phase quickly and completely at veraison, ensuring an early harvest of evenly ripened Pinot Noir grapes.
Despite the thinning at veraison, the crop was 25% greater than average, elevated by a summer rainfall event in January. Tapanappa 2015 Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir is a moderately coloured and delicate wine, the reflection of a cool season and more appropriately labeled as Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir rather than the more concentrated wine expected of Foggy Hill single vineyard designation. The 2015 Tapanappa Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir was harvested from the Foggy Hill Vineyard on the 4th and 5th of March.

Winemaking Notes: 30% of each clone and block of Foggy Hill Pinot Noir was hand harvested on the 4th of March into shallow trays and taken to the Tapanappa winery and chilled to 2C. The next day, the balance of fruit was also hand harvested.
The cold whole bunch fruit was distributed into the bottom of the 0.9 tonne fermenters and then the same clone/block fruit was de-stemmed, crushed and chilled to 2C before being placed on top of the cold whole fruit. A cold maceration of 4 days in tub preceded the beginning of fermentation and daily hand plunging of the cap. After 12 days in fermentation tubs, the fermentation had finished and the tubs were sealed down for a further 9 days of maceration.
The tubs were tipped into the new Willmes Merlin air bag press and drained and lightly pressed straight to French oak barriques (30% new). The young Pinot wine underwent malolactic fermentation on full lees before being racked and returned to barrique for a total of 12 months. The wine was clear racked and blended in April 2016 prior to bottling in July 2016.

The Taste Of The Wine: 2015 Tapanappa Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir has a medium intensity, bright cherry hue. The aroma is of herbal flowers and blackcurrant with a background of the olive and nettle of the stalk inclusion. Given the medium colour, the palate is surprising in its sweet fruit intensity and texture, with an appropriately drying tannin finish. This is a Pinot Noir that will age beautifully, building colour and complexity as it goes. Despite its Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir label it is “a true reflection of the unique Foggy Hill terroir.”

Alc/vol: 13.5%

expert reviews about

2015 Tapanappa Fleurieu Pinot Noir

Expert Reviews

Campbell Mattinson (2015 Vintage) says
I thought this release was fractionally stewy at first but the more it breathed the more perfumed and delicate it because. It certainly offers good variety correct drinking. Macerated black cherries, roses and assorted foresty flowers, undergrowth, a gentle veneer of creamy oak, and a tangy/spicy finish. Tannin adds an appropriate level of tension to the wine. Drinks well now and should perform well with extra time in bottle.
2017 - 2022+
James Halliday (2015 Vintage) says
Light, bright crimson; a beautifully fragrant wine, the use of 30% whole bunches a master stroke for a supremely elegant and pure red-berried Pinot strongly reminiscent of Volnay, Burgundy, which has transformed itself over the past 12 months.
Drink by 2024
Andrew Graham (2015 Vintage) says
On first open I thought this looked a little oaky, with the vanilla lacquer of (quality) French oak a slight distraction. But with air, the red cherry and plum fruit rolls through, and the thickness through the middle and long finish an ever constant reminder of just how serious a wine this is, no doubt helped along by plenty of time on skins, with just a little alcohol warmth to finish. In some ways this is just a bit dense to be beautiful. But the longer you look, the more you appreciate the A-grade nature of this wine, with a sense of class at every corner. Will only get better with bottle age too.

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