With a 97+ point score from the influential Wine Advocate, the 2021 Tapanappa Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay stands out as a stunning buy. Made by the brilliant Brian Croser, it is “One of the greats” for Erin Larkin and will be spectacular to drink for at least a decade and a half.
The Tiers Chardonnay hails from the relatively cool climate of Piccadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills. Here, the elevation in combination with an excellent vineyard and some of the New World’s best winemaking means a wine of class, sophistication and poise with exceptional purity. The 2021 is perhaps the best made.
For Larkin, this is “powerful, concentrated and shapely, with a core of pure citrus acidity” and “the wine undulates across the tongue and shows line and poise that elevate it to the very top of the Chardonnay tree in Australia”. Her 97+ point score marks it out as an outright bargain.
This 2021 Chardonnay Tiers Vineyard is a sensational wine. Let me tell you about the vineyard, and then we’ll come back to the glass. The Tiers vineyard was planted in the Picadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills by the Croser family in 1979. The vineyard lays at an elevation of around 450 meters (1,477 feet) above sea level at its highest point, and the wine was made by Brian Croser, an important name in Australian wine. The 2021 vintage was a goodie in South Australia. The start to the season (spring and around) was the recipient of a good level of rainfall and no ill-timed events, meaning fruit set and yields were decent, and the growing season itself was without heat events or challenges, meaning the picking windows were chosen based on the fruit, with no forced hands. So, to the wine. This is powerful, concentrated and shapely, with a core of pure citrus acidity (it’s zesty and pithy). The fruit speaks of yellow peach and preserved lemon and a hint of white tea. The wine undulates across the tongue and shows line and poise that elevate it to the very top of the Chardonnay tree in Australia. One of the greats. I daresay it’ll be even better in 2025. (2022) www.robertparker.