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Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay reflects the cool maritime climate of Tasmania's Coal River Valley, and the site itself is gently sloping, north-east facing, with light silica over sandstone. The result is a fine and precise Chardonnay with a backbone of firm acidity, and a combination of lightness of texture, and intensity of flavor.
Tolpuddle Vineyard has a unique, strong, and expressive character. Commitment in the vineyard, with an emphasis on working by hand, augments the site’s natural character at its best, while also ensuring that the best from each set of vintage conditions are captured in the wines. The wines are made in a respectful way, using traditional, low intervention winemaking methods.
Tolpuddle Vineyard is an outstanding vineyard established in 1988 and takes its name from the Tolpuddle Martyrs, a group of 19th-century agricultural laborers, some of whom were transported to Tasmania as convicts to work on a farm in the Coal River Valley, part of which is now Tolpuddle Vineyard. Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith MW purchased the vineyard in 2011 and now make two wines – Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay and Tolpuddle Vineyard Pinot Noir. They believe Tolpuddle is one of Australia’s great single vineyards, with plantings of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir.
Located about 20 minutes drive from Hobart, in Tasmania’s southeast, the Coal River Valley has established a reputation for growing exceptional quality grapes. With a climate at the cool extremes for viticulture in Australia, it is no surprise that Chardonnay and Pinot Noir perform so splendidly. An anomaly for such a cool climate, the rainfall is significantly lower than many of Australia’s other cool climate regions, with an average of approximately 500mm of rain per year. This cool but relatively dry climate allows the grapes to ripen slowly in autumn, without the disease pressure that heavy rainfall can bring. The vineyard is planted with mature Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines, facing northeast and sloping gently up from Back Tea Tree Road. The soil is light silica over sandstone and of moderate vigor, ensuring well-balanced vines producing grapes of great flavor and intensity.
Tasting Notes: 100% Chardonnay. This wine is true to the Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay style: fine and precise with firm acidity, and a combination of lightness of texture and intensity of flavor.
This really asserts itself at the top echelon of chardonnay, in a context that extends far beyond the shores of the tiny island state of Tasmania. Already in such a great place, with aromas of white peach, lemon, lemon curd, and very precisely curated sulfides adding interest. There’s wet chalk, lemon peel, and gentle hazelnutty oak in play as well. The palate has seamless, layered, and fresh citrus and peach flavors, as well as a stream of pithy grapefruit and peach on offer. Acidity holds the finish long and true. This is one of the most elegant vintages of this wine, reminiscent of the 2014. Oak chimes in so subtly on the finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap. ~99 James Suckling
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