Suggested food matches:
Butter and garlic fried prawns
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Recipe by Barney Desmazery
Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay 2019 Coal River Valley
Grape: 100% Chardonnay
The Tolpuddle vineyard was purchased by Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith in 2011. It is situated in the Coal River Valley, in Tasmania’s south-east corner. First planted in 1988 by Tony Jordan and Garry Crittenden, it has since established a reputation for growing exceptional quality grapes, with the focus on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The cool but relatively dry climate allows the grapes to ripen slowly in autumn, without the disease pressure that heavy rainfall can bring. The vineyard took its name from the Tolpuddle Martyrs, who were transported to Australia in 1834 for starting an agrarian union in Tolpuddle in Dorset. 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. In 2006, it won the inaugural Tasmanian Vineyard of the Year award, reflecting the performance of this distinguished site. The goal of the current owners is to make this one of the finest single vineyards in Australia for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The 20 hectare north-east facing vineyard is located in the Coal River Valley, which is in a rain shadow, so is dry but cold. The dry climate ensures there is very low disease pressure, which in turn means that they can leave the grapes on the vines for longer to ensure they ripen fully. The vineyard is situated on a gentle slope and the soil is light silica over sandstone and of moderate vigour, ensuring well-balanced vines. Mild conditions in spring and a dry September encouraged moderate shoot development through the early part of the growing season. Temperatures remained mild during the latter period of ripening, resulting in fruit that ripened slowly with great concentration, power and natural acidity.
The grapes were all hand picked, whole-bunch pressed, and fermented in French oak barriques. The wine spent nine months in barrel which had a mixture of toast levels and a third of which were new. There was gentle lees stirring as required, then a further two months in tank on lees prior to bottling.