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Tolpuddle Chardonnay Tasmania 2021 (750ML)

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Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions

99 DE / 98 WA / 97 JS / 95 WE / 95 WS

#1 Decanter White Wine of 2022
#39 James Suckling Top 100 Wines of Australia 2022
#53 Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2023

Owned since 2011 by Michael Hill Smith MW and Martin Shaw of Shaw & Smith Wines in the Adelaide Hills, the 20ha northeast facing Tolpuddle vineyard occupies a prime position in Tasmania’s Coal River Valley. The pair saw the vineyard’s potential immediately, and have been producing exceptional single-vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir ever since. There was a particularly wet start to 2021 – one of the coolest on record – resulting in much smaller but more concentrated grapes. Harvested by hand, the grapes are whole-bunch pressed then aged in French oak for nine months. Vincenzo Arnese: The nose is fresh and ripe with incredible structure, showing quince, candied lemon peel, grapefruit juice and subtle oak. A lingering acidity completes the frame of this outstanding wine. Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW: A wonder of lightness and precision; a hedonistic mix of immediate restrained pleasure and long-term intellectual provocation. An amazingly subtle and complex finish. I adore this wine. Amanda Barnes: Aromas of gunflint, lavender, lemon peel and wet stones lead into a mouthfilling yet svelte wine with mouthwatering acidity and a long, savoury finish. Will cellar well for more than a decade. Nominated by Sarah Ahmed, Decanter Panel Tastings

I was shocked at the intensity of the 2021 Chardonnay when I first tasted it. How could a wine so young have this much flavor? It is polished, glassy and graceful. It unfurls in the mouth and soars long over the horizon. It's balanced and powerful, crouching at this early stage, but all the building blocks of greatness are here. A wine of extension, expansion and elegance—a formidable trio. Erin Larkin, Wine Advocate

I like the slate, flint and stone aromas to the sliced apples and white dried pineapple. Lemon curd. Some honeysuckle, too. Full-bodied, with creamy texture and extremely long finish. Complete and beautiful. So well crafted. Drink or hold. Screw cap.—James Suckling

In what has become an unmistakably Tolpuddle (and heavily Burgundy-influenced) style, this is a rich, intensively reductive Chardonnay that's set for the long haul. For now, there's a sulfuric potency, like a just-struck match combined with roasted cashews and buttered toast. Somewhere in the mix, a fruity note like pineapple rind or peach skin, emerges. The palate is similarly toast-driven, but it wears it well, that to its inherent power: textural weight, lifted acidity and depth of flavor. You could drink it now but it'd be a shame. Best to cellar several more years until straight through the 2030s. — Christina Pickard, Wine Enthusiast

A stunning white, intense and complex, opening with vivid notes of roasted, salted hazelnut, then giving way to a sleek, crisp, intense core of lime, pomelo and tangerine flavors. Delivers details of toasted sesame seed, fresh-grated ginger, lemongrass and a touch of celery seed on the long, expressive finish. Drink now through 2034. From Australia.-MaryAnn Worobiec, Wine Spectator

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