Tassie chardonnay scores top honour
At a time when Australian winemakers are reeling from the impact of China’s extraordinary new wine tariffs, the industry needed a bit of good news. And here it is: a Tasmanian chardonnay has been named the best white wine in the world.
The International Wine Challenge (IWC) chose the Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay 2018 as their Champion White Wine for 2020. In total, the wine picked up five trophies: Champion White Wine 2020, International Chardonnay Trophy, Australian White Trophy, Australian Chardonnay Trophy and Tasmanian Chardonnay Trophy.
It’s the first time a Tasmanian wine has won the Champion White Trophy and the first time in seven years the trophy has gone to an Aussie producer. Australia was also one of the highest performing countries at this year’s event. There were four Aussie wines in the top 30.
An epic win
The wine, one of Australia’s most renowned single vineyard wines, scored 97 points out of 100. It beat wines from a remarkable 53 countries. It was also only one of four wines in the whole competition to score 97 points. The IWC, now in its 38th year, has earned the reputation of being the most rigorous, impartial and influential wine competition in the world. So this is an epic win indeed for the Tassie producer.
The judges described the chardonnay as: “Bright lemon yellow with a subtle, elegant, restrained aroma of lemon sherbet and fruity mineral tones on the nose. Pristine and angular, yet delicate on the palate with well-balanced oak. Long textural finish with beautiful poise, balance and charm.” That’s pretty enough to put in a book. Or on a bottle.
“Our philosophy has always been to grow the best grapes we possibly can in the best possible sites,” says winemaker Adam Wadewitz (pictured at very top). “The Tolpuddle Vineyard continues to punch above its weight year after year. It’s a very special place.”
Tolpuddle’s 2017 Chardonnay won three awards last year, including the Tasmanian Chardonnay Trophy, Australian Chardonnay Trophy and Australian White Trophy.
What’s in a name?
Tolpuddle Vineyard is located in the Coal River Valley, 20 minutes outside of Hobart. It’s considered one of Tasmania’s finest vineyards. Since acquiring the 20-hectare vineyard in 2011 after a road trip to Tasmania, wine industry veterans Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith (Australia’s first Master of Wine) have invested heavily in improving all aspects of the vineyard. Their goal is to have it recognised as one of Australia’s best single vineyard sites.
The vineyard is named after the Tolpuddle Martyrs. These six agricultural labourers from the village of Tolpuddle in Dorset started England’s first agrarian union. Their “reward” was to be transported to Tasmania as convicts.