Chardonnay Adelaide Hills South Australia
Tiers are three hectares of intensively managed, closely planted, mature Chardonnay vines. Brian Croser selected the Piccadilly Valley at the centre of the Adelaide Hills in 1978 because it provided the best terroirs in which to grow Chardonnay for Petaluma and for Croser sparkling. Piccadilly is a homo-clime of Dijon in Burgundy. The Tiers Vineyard was the first site planted in the region since the nineteenth century and is at the centre of the Piccadilly Valley on 450 metres elevation, where the Petaluma Winery operates and Brian Croser lives. A mere 300 dozen are produced.
The Chardonnay vines at Tiers were derived from an old Davis California clone, originally imported from Mersault during the 1880s. Hand picked grapes are de-stemmed, crushed and chilled to 2°C on the way to an air bag press. Cold juices are gravitated away and only light pressings are added back. After two days of cold settling, the clear juices are racked to a high proportion of new French Vosges oak barriques for a long cool vinification under the estate cellars. Upon completion of ferments, the barriques are topped up, treated to partial malolactic and matured ten months on gross lees. In the spring, barrels are slightly sulphured, followed by rack and return for clarification and bottling.
Light straw hues. Varietal bouquet of ripe peach and melon. Subtle marzipan and brioche characters are derived from the malolactic, yeast lees contact and oak. A consistent terroir feature of Tiers Chardonnay is its very significant texture followed by a savoury finish and the persistence of flavours. Tiers will develop spicy honey and brulee characters as it evolves.