2020 Tolpuddle Vineyard Pinot Noir
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 has gorgeous aromatics with violets and red berries to the fore. There is abundant fruit, with sour cherry, raspberry, blueberry, and a touch of rhubarb. Underlying savoury characters include graphite and cured meat, and some toasted spices. Medium weight, with very fine tannins. Fresh and enticing, perfumed and delicious. All hand-picked fruit is fermented as a combination of whole berries and whole bunches, in open wooden and stainless fermenters, with gentle plunging. Aged in French oak for ten months, of which about one third was new. Will repay careful cellaring for up to 12 years.
This is a wine we have not yet seen from Tolpuddle. It has such well-curated complexity and whole-bunch influence (40%) sits in the sweet spot. It is concentrated, yet so elegant and the vivid freshness that pervades every aspect of the nose and palate is striking. Aromas of red fruit, such as raspberry, strawberry, red cherry and red plum are framed in spice and fragrance. The palate has such impressive definition and clarity and the tannins are so detailed, fine and clear-cut. Concentrated red and darker cherries are fleshy, yet elegantly focused, and the acidity laces it all up so clearly. So drinkable now and for a decade at least. Screw cap.
JamesSuckling.com (October 2021)