Shaw + Smith launches new Tolpuddle Tasmanian wines

The new Tolpuddle Tasmanian wines (tastings) from Shaw + Smith (tastings) are among the year’s most keenly awaited wine launches.

According to part-owner Michael Hill Smith MW, expectations were high for these 2012 vintage wines. It’s two years since the cousins, Hill Smith and Martin Shaw, bought the vineyard from its founders in a surprise purchase that was widely seen as a coup.

Nobody knew the vineyard was for sale; indeed, it wasn’t. But a set of circumstances led to the owners giving the sale the nod. It’s a well-sited 20-hectare vineyard in the Coal River Valley, just north of Hobart, established in 1988 by professionals who ‘knew what they were doing’, according to Hill Smith.

They planted it 50/50 to chardonnay and pinot noir. If expectations were already high, the prices won’t help: they’re not cheap, at $75 for the pinot, $65 for the chardonnay.

The pinot is a very typical high-quality Tasmanian pinot: deep-coloured, lavishly fruity, with superripe (almost a bit too ripe) black-cherry fruit with vanilla and kirsch notes. It’s delicious, albeit a bit toward the fruit-bomb end of the spectrum, and certainly not a delicate, ethereal style of pinot. For full tasting notes of the pinot, click here.

It will probably attract the most interest because there is less top pinot around than chardonnay, and it’s very user-friendly. But the chardonnay is the finer and more exciting wine. Very restrained but ripe and not without a touch of classic chardonnay richness, it’s restrained and taut, delicate but long, with a fine thread of natural acidity that carries its poise and beauty. It’s a serious chardonnay lover’s wine. For full tasting notes of the chardonnay, click here.

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