Tolpuddle Coal River Valley Pinot Noir 2020  £59.95

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The Tolpuddle Vineyard was purchased by Michael Hill Smith MW and Martin Shaw in 2011. First planted in 1988 by Tony Jordan and Garry Crittenden with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, it has since established a reputation for growing exceptional quality grapes. The vineyard took its name from the Tolpuddle Martyrs, who were transported to Australia in 1834 for starting an agrarian union. The leader of the group, George Loveless, served part of his sentence working on a property near Richmond called GlenAyr, part of which is now the Tolpuddle Vineyard.

The Tolpuddle vineyard is in the Coal River Valley, just outside of Hobart. This area is significantly drier than other cool-climate regions, with an average of 500 millimetres of rain per year. These cool conditions but low rainfall allows the grapes to ripen slowly through autumn without the disease pressure more rain can bring. The Tolpuddle vineyards are north-east facing and the soil is light silica over sandstone.

Spring was mild, allowing for well-balanced shoot development and flowering. A warm start to summer meant the vines were tracking earlier than normal however the weather stayed calm and dry resulting in slow and even ripening.

The grapes were all handpicked and fermented as a combination of whole berries and whole bunches, in open fermenters, with gentle plunging. The wine was aged for nine months in French oak, of which about one third was new.

This wine is true to the Tolpuddle Vineyard Pinot Noir style: intensely aromatic, balanced with savoury spice notes from whole-bunch fermentation, along with the purity of varietal expression, fresh acidity and firm tannins. It is very perfumed, medium-bodied and approachable.

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