Tolpuddle Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This remarkable single vineyard in Tasmania’s Coal River Valley was lovingly restored nearly a decade ago by respected Adelaide Hills duo Shaw and Smith. The 2018 marks Tolpuddle vineyard’s 30th year in the ground and the maturity shows. This is quiet at first but with time and air unfurls like a genie from a bottle: cherry, red currant, stony minerality, dried florals, spices and a distinctive umami note. There’s a lovely play between acidity and tannins on the silky, medium-weight palate. This is an elegant, terroir-driven wine that’s beautiful now but it has a gorgeous life ahead of it. Drink now–2032.
Tolpuddle Vineyard was established in 1988 and it took its name from the Tolpuddle Martyrs: English convicts transported to Tasmania for forming an agricultural union. The leader of the Martyrs, George Loveless, served some of his sentence working on a property near Richmond, part of which is now Tolpuddle Vineyard.
The vineyard is planted with mature Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines, facing north-east, and sloping gently up from Back Tea Tree Road. The soil is light silica over sandstone and of moderate vigour, ensuring well-balanced vines producing grapes of great flavour and intensity.
In 2006 Tolpuddle Vineyard won the inaugural Tasmanian Vineyard of the Year award, reflecting the performance of this unique and distinguished site.
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.
Directly south of the city of Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula wine region, the cool-climate island of Tasmania has earned an honorable reputation as the country’s finest producer of Sparkling Wine. Naturally the region also excels in top quality still wines from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling, all distinguished because of a high natural acidity. Most of the Tasmania vineyards cluster around the eastern side of the island from north to south.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”