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.
Tolpuddle epitomises the modern Australian style of elegance and an emphasis on citrus rather than stone fruits, but in Tasmania it finds a most accommodating climate. I find Tolpuddle has a lovely lemon curd and sensuous texture around fresh macadamia nuts and oyster shell, rather than a forced and bracing acid style which can also exist in some self-designated cool-climate styles from the mainland.
Hand-picked, whole-bunch pressed, fermented in French oak barrels with limited stirring. The bouquet and palate send the same message of perfectly captured white stone fruits, then apple and grapefruit. An irresistible wine with spectacular length. The 2019 Tolpuddle was judged by the best Australian Chardonnay in 2020 by James Suckling.
"This really asserts itself at the top echelon of chardonnay, in a context that extends far beyond the shores of the tiny island state of Tasmania. Already in such a great place, with aromas of white peach, lemon, lemon curd and very precisely curated sulphides adding interest. There’s wet chalk, lemon peel and gentle hazelnutty oak in play as well. The palate has seamless, layered and fresh citrus and peach flavours, as well as a stream of pithy grapefruit and peach on offer. Acidity holds the finish long and true. This is one of the most elegant vintages of this wine, reminiscent of the 2014. Oak chimes in so subtly on the finish." 99 Points, James Suckling