Tolpuddle Vineyard was established in 1988 on a property in Southern Tasmania near Richmond. It was planted with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines, facing north-east on gentle slopes. The soil is sandy and well drained ensuring deep roots and well-balanced vines producing grapes of great flavour and intensity. Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith MW purchased the vineyard in 2011 from the original owners and have put an expert team together to look after the unique terroir and winemaking with the goal of establishing Tolpuddle Vineyard as one of Australia’s great single vineyards. The wine is expertly crafted by winemaker Adam Wadewitz. My notes from tasting the 2014 vintage follow:
Excellent ruby colour with fine clarity;
The perfume is explosive with red fruits, smokey spice and savoury forest notes that captivate the senses. There has been only one Australian pinot, in my experience, that has reached these giddy heights in terms of olfactory experience and that was some of the early Mt.Mary pinot made by the late Dr John Middleton.
The wine is beautifully balanced, bright and pure, supple yet powerful with red berries, dark cherry and plum fruit. Sufficient acid as a framework to hold the fruit in place and ensure graceful ageing, complexity provided by stems (whole bunch influence), tarry well handled oak and gossamer fine tannins. The flavours go on and on providing an amazing experience from start to finish.
Tolpuddle’s greatest virtues are its balance, length, amazing nose and purity of palate….yes, it has it all!
Curious about the name? It took the 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.