2020 Tapanappa, Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
I have a trio of tremendous whites from Tapanappa for you this week, all new vintage releases. In reverse order, starting with the grandest of the three: 2019 Tapanappa Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay (£32, in bond per bottle, Cellar Circle Exclusive, laywheeler.com; £40, thechampagnecompany.com). Only 2,700 bottles have been made and the UK received just 588, so get in quick. There is no doubt that this is one of the most extraordinary wines I have tasted from this legendary site.
Next, 2020 Tapanappa Tiers Vineyard 1.5M Chardonnay (£35, thechampagnecompany.com) is made from a 2003 re-planting of Dijon clone chardonnay and it sits across the road from the original 1979 block. This is only the second time that this “close-planted” wine has made it to the UK, and I noted Chassagne-Montrachet-like presence here coupled with a very long finish. The oak is superb, and the depth of fruit, while prodigious, is not quite as lusty as that found in Tiers.
Finally, my featured wine. Only 525 dozen were made, and this is the most forward-drinking and invigorating chardonnay under this famous label. Well-balanced and not too exuberant nor expressive, the fruit is calm, layered, detailed and impressive. There are none of the exotic notes found in the other wines in this lithe beauty, making it a finely tuned and deliciously mesmerising creation.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com)