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Croser, Cazes and Bollinger head for Australia

Eminent Australian vintner Brian Croser has teamed up with Jean-Michel Cazes and Bollinger to produce a premium wine in South Australia.

Croser and Cazes – this year’s and last year’s Decanter Men of the Year – have acquired the Koppamurra Vineyard at Joanna in Wrattonbully, next door to Coonawarra.

Croser said it was one of the two original vineyards in the Wrattonbully region, established in 1975. He first made wine there in 1980, he added, still ‘an intense ripe fruit wine of exquisite balance, finesse and complexity. I have been interested to do something in that region and with the Koppamurra Vineyard ever since making that wine.’

The partnership is called Tapanappa Wines, with the first release scheduled for 2005. The first wines – 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc – are currently in barrel.

The Cabernet, a press release says, will be distributed globally using the established Bollinger and Cazes sales networks.

Croser also said the partnership was interested in expanding the brand to ‘other grape varieties on other unique sites in Australia’.

He will continue as consulting winemaker for Petaluma, the company he and his wife founded in 1976 and which is now owned by Lion Nathan.

Cazes, owner of Bordeaux fifth-growth Chateau Lynch-Bages, said he was delighted to be involved in what would be a ‘fascinating experience’.

Written by Adam Lechmere

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