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Food and beverage stories

Local pinot judged nation’s best red

Edition 161 Michael Hill Smith ...

By Graeme Phillips

Australia – with a haul of 91 gold medals – came second to France in the medal count at the 2015 International Wine Challenge in London in May.

Unsurprisingly, Shiraz led the Australian charge with 25 gold medals, 22 of them from South Australia.

But beating them all for the trophy as Australia’s Best Red Wine was the Tolpuddle 2013 Pinot Noir from the Coal River Valley in Tasmania.

It was the first time a pinot noir has won this trophy and a first also for any Tasmanian wine.

On the way to being judged Australia’s best red, the Tolpuddle wine also won trophies as Best Australian Pinot Noir and Best Tasmanian Pinot Noir.

Famed English reviewer Jancis Robinson described it as a “thrilling wine".

The 20ha Tolpuddle vineyard was planted near the historic village of Richmond in 1988 and was purchased by respected Adelaide Hills producer Shaw+Smith in 2011.

Partner Michael Hill Smith said the aim was to establish Tolpuddle as one of Australia’s great single-vineyard wines.

The trophy-winning wine was only their second vintage of pinot noir from the site.

“The vineyard produces wines of amazing aromatic intensity and flavour, with the fruit power and the natural balance you rarely see outside of Burgundy,” Mr Hill Smith said.

“We’re enamoured by Tasmania’s growing international reputation and relevance and this is a wonderful result.”

Also doing Tasmania proud in London was Stefano Lubiana’s 2012 Estate Chardonnay which won a gold medal and trophy, adding to the Best Tasmanian White Wine trophy it had been awarded at the Royal Hobart Wine Show last November.

Sparkling wine producer, Jansz Tasmania, received gold medals for its 2009 Vintage Cuvée and Non-Vintage Premium Cuvée Brut.

Footnote: The CEO of Wine Tasmania, Sheralee Davies, has told a parliamentary inquiry that the Tasmanian wine industry could treble production over the next five years to 1.5 million cases. She warned that such an expansion would need to be matched with a growth in domestic and export demand. “Obviously with that sort of growth there needs to be a pretty significant step up in our market and market-development activities,” she said.

2 June 2015, Edition 161

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