Tag: Tolpuddle Pinot Noir

Aug 08 2016

Tasmanian Pinot Noir: Reaching for New Heights – Highlights from Sydney’s Vin Diemen Tasting

Posted on August 08, 2016 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Vin Diemen, the annual showcase of Tasmanian wine, is always a great event and this year was no exception. Held last Saturday in a new venue – the beautiful historic National Arts School in East Sydney – many of the winemakers were on hand and happy to field questions while busily pouring their wines for big crowds.

The outstanding quality of Tasmanian pinot noir (with some pretty hefty price tags to match!) was one of the highlights of the tasting. The enticing dark cherry and plum fruit aromas of the Holm Oak “The Wizard” Pinot Noir 2014 ($60) led to a vibrant flavour driven palate with excellent length and silky tannins. Delicious!

The elegant Spring Vale Estate Pinot Noir is a perennial favourite of mine and the 2015 vintage ($45) exhibited this wine’s hallmark dark cherry aromas with herbal touches. Well structured, its clearly delineated fine grained tannins framed a complex range of dark fruit flavours with savoury overtones.

The Coal River winery Domaine A has built its reputation on cabernet, but winemaker Peter Althaus also knows how to make a very fine pinot noir. The Domaine A Pinot Noir 2009 ($90) is an excellent example of Tasmania’s potential to produce a rich, opulent style of pinot noir designed to age. This is a well-structured elegant, delicately scented medium-bodied wine with concentrated flavours, silky tannins and a lingering finish.

The 2013 Glaetzer-Dixon Family Winemakers ReveurPinot Noir ($56) with its firm yet fine tannins and vibrant acidity was also quite Burgundian in style. A beguiling nose of strawberries, dark stone fruits and savoury spice led to a supple and complex flavour profile of cherries and blackberries. Definitely another good one for the cellar!

2014WizardPinotNoirsmallOver the years the best Tasmanian winemakers have come to understand the subtle nuances of their … Read the rest

Feb 02 2016

Tasmania’s Spring Vale Pinot Noir 2013: A Taste of Burgundy in Australia!

Posted on February 02, 2016 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Good vine age, winemaking experience and ideal climatic conditions. These are just some of the key ingredients that have recently coalesced to make Tasmania arguably the most exciting pinot noir producer in Australia at the moment.

Last year the Tolpuddle Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013 was awarded Best Australian Red at the International Wine Challenge in the UK. Owned by Shaw + Smith owners Michael Hill Smith and Martin Shaw, the Tolpuddle Vineyard, planted in 1988, is located in the Coal River Valley just 20 minutes outside of Hobart

2013 was also a great year for another of Tasmania’s East Coast wineries, the Lyne-family owned Spring Vale in Cranbrook. Sixth in a field of 42, the Spring Vale Pinot Noir 2013 beat out some serious competition in a recent GT Wine blind tasting of single-vineyard Australian pinot noir. Writer and judge Toni Peterson MW described it as “a poised and classy wine with excellent varietal character and energy. Notes of red berries, herbs and tamarillo. It is very pure and focussed with a lovely loose texture. It built more complexity in the glass with time.”(Single Site Pinot Noir by Nick Bulleid MW, GT Wine, Aug/Sept 2015)

I had an opportunity to try the wine at the annual Vin Diemen’s wine tasting and decided to track it down! I have been enjoying it ever since, and fortunately secured a few bottles for the Cellarit Wine Market.

So what makes Tassie pinot noir so good? SMH Good Food writer Jeni Port spoke to a number of high profile Tasmanian winemakers who believe that the climatic conditions of Tasmania are remarkably similar to Burgundy and Champagne, where cool climate and humidity in combination create grape compositions that are more delicate and less tannic.

Tasmania Wine MapCharles ”Chilly” Hargrave, group sparkling winemaker for Treasury Wine Estates told … Read the rest

Sep 09 2015

Tasmania’s Best Pinot Noir – Tolpuddle Pinot Noir 2013

Posted on September 09, 2015 | By merrill@cellarit.com

The 2013 Tolpuddle Pinot Noir, from the famous Coal River Valley vineyard owned by cousins Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith of Shaw + Smith in the Adelaide Hills, was recently named Best Australian Red Wine at the International Wine Challenge in London in April.

First released in 2012, the universal applause for both the inaugural and 2013 vintages is the best evidence to date that Tasmania is starting to realise its potential for pinot noir.

Certainly Shaw and Smith haven’t been shy about attaching an expensive price tag to their award-winning wine ($75 rrp). As the UK’s top wine critic Jancis Robinson remarked: “This is not a cheap wine. It costs about the same as many premier cru burgundy. But it has the advantage of being already delicious to drink – unlike most 2013 burgundies.” How’s that for a wonderful backhanded compliment! (Tolpuddle Pinot Noir 2013 by Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, 15 April 2015)

 

 

Tolpuddle Pinot Noir 750ml NV copyFirst established in 1988 by Tony Jordan, Gary Crittenden and Bill Casimaty, Tolpuddle won the first-ever Tasmanian Vineyard of the Year Award in 2006. Describing their decision to try to buy the vineyard in 2011 (it wasn’t even listed at the time), Shaw and Smith said “it was love at first sight. 20 hectares of mature Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines planted on a long even slope, with lean soils, forests above and water below and great vineyard exposure. Fantastic.”

The Coal River Valley is proving climatically ideal for slow ripening pinot noir. The cool but relatively dry climate allows the grapes to ripen slowly in autumn without the threat of disease pressure from heavy rainfall.

Shaw and Smith note that in 2011 Peter Dawson, former chief winemaker at Hardy’s, boldly predicted that “Tasmania would be making Australia’s best Chardonnay and … Read the rest