Tolpuddle Coal River Valley Pinot Noir 2022  £67.17

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Tolpuddle Coal River Valley Pinot Noir

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.

The 2022 vintage saw the coldest conditions for this region in over a decade. The cool conditions, particularly around flowering, resulted in lower yields. However, these conditions also produced fruit with excellent concentration of flavour and high natural acidity which is now synonymous with Tolpuddle Vineyard fruit.

All hand-picked fruit was fermented as a combination of whole berries and whole bunches in open wooden and stainless steel fermenters, with gentle plunging. The wine was aged in French oak for 10 months, of which about one third was new oak.

This Pinot Noir shows excellent complexity and power which is balanced by pure fruit notes and spice developed by the cool growing season. Ripe red cherry, smoked meat and olive notes are framed by fine but firm tannins, leading to a great length of flavour.

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