The capricious Pinot Noir is not usually grown successfully in Australia as it is hard to locate cool-climate, suitable sites in which to develop its glorious panoply of heady aromas and its silky texture. Foggy Hill Vineyard, however, sits on the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula where Southern Ocean breezes mitigate the effects of the naturally warm climate. 2009 was an average year for the area in terms of heat, but was very dry. The juice here was subjected to several days of cold maceration, both before and after the alcoholic fermentation, and was then transferred to French barriques, 305 new, for malolactic fermentation. The wine remained in cask for a further 8 months before being bottled unfiltered in March 2010, a year after the harvest.
We have become used to the New Zealand style of Pinot Noir with piercingly pure summer fruit aromas and silky texture on the palate, but this is more restrained, more European in style. Certainly there are red fruit aromas in abundance, but behind them there is a savoury character with pronounced tannins, firm acidity and a complex weave on the palate. Rather than the more usual descriptors of raspberry and strawberry amongst the aromas and flavours I find myself leaning more towards spicy cherries with hints of redcurrant.
Tapanappa 2009 Foggy Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir is of medium colour intensity and is cerise in hue. The aromas are initially delicate and ethereal hinting at roses and their freshly cut stalks. More complex aromas emerge of dark chocolate and mocha and preserved cherries with a hint of anise. The flavours are sweet spicy and delicate and are poised against the tannin and acid in a savoury and linear structure. The alcohol remains unnoticed against the delicate but exotic water born flavours, the significant tannins and acid, beyond which the flavours are persistent. This the third exciting wine of the new Pinot Noir terroir at Maylands Farm at Parawa at the apex of the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia. The style of the 2009 Foggy Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir is a more natural reflection of the terroir in a cooler year compared to the opulent 2008.Tapanappa Wines
Alun Griffiths MW, Wine DirectorTapanappa Wines