2020 Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay
Tolpuddle Vineyard was established in 1988 in the Coal River Valley between Hobart and the town of Richmond. Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith MW purchased the vineyard in 2011 and are fully committed to seeing Tolpuddle Vineyard recognised as one of Australia’s great single vineyards.
The cool climate here is at the extremes for viticulture in Australia, perfect for producing ultra-premium Chardonnay & Pinot Noir. Contrary to most cool climates, the Coal River doesn’t receive much rainfall, allowing the grapes to mature slowly throughout Autumn, without the disease pressure that heavy rainfall can bring. The vineyard is planted on a gentle north-east facing slope, which is composed of moderate vigour silica-soil, which results in well-balanced vines producing grapes of great flavour and intensity.
The 2020 vintage saw slightly unsettled flowering resulted in mild “hen and chicken” in the grapes which increased their concentration and intensity. Some rainfall before harvest resulted in higher-than-normal acidity, and prolonged flavour development.
Notes from the winery....
This wine shows white floral and lemon barley notes on the nose. Classic Tolpuddle backbone of acidity, yellow grapefruit, lemon pith, and some flinty minerality. A combination of lightness, delicacy, texture, and extract. A touch of lees derived shortbread flavour adds complexity. This wine has a great future. All fruit was hand-picked, whole bunch pressed, and fermented in French oak. The wine spent ten months in barrel with gentle stirring as required, then rested in tank on lees for a further 4 months. Will repay careful cellaring for up to12 years.
The 9th release, from vines planted 1998 in the Coal River Valley. A small crop, from a cool harvest. Hand picked; fermented and matured 10 months in French oak barrels with gentle bâtonnage. The concentration from a small crop contrasts the tension of this cool site with grand stature and presence. The carefully tuned gunflint of barrel fermentation backs a core of pure grapefruit and lemon, backed emphatically with crystalline acidity and the finely textured, creamy structure of lees age and bâtonnage. Dreamy line and length. Drink by 2030.
Tyson Stelzer - James Halliday's Australian Wine Companion