Only keep wines you love
with our Society's Promise
Free delivery on
12 bottles or orders over £75
and get £20 off your first order
Only produced in tiny quantities Tolpuddle, Shaw and Smith's Tasmanian venture, is a fine example of premium cool-climate chardonnay. This is flinty and fine on the nose and intense on the palate, with plenty of lemon, green-apple and toasted almond notes, bright acidity and a mineral hint to the long, lovely finish.
Product Code: AU21271
View all products by Shaw & Smith
Cousins Martin Shaw and Michael Hill-Smith decided to make wine together over a long lunch in 1989. Both had already established a fine reputation within the Australian wine industry: Martin worked with the legendary Brian Croser at Petaluma and consults around the globe, while Michael Hill-Smith was the first Australian to pass the rigorous Master of Wine exams in 1988 having grown up as part of the Yalumba clan in the Barossa. They are based in the rolling Adelaide Hills, part of the Mount Lofty Ranges east of the city of Adelaide, where they own several vineyards in a wine region that is cooler than most in Australia. Up in these hills temperatures are lower on average than many areas of South Australia by about 4 degrees centigrade during the day and 8 degrees at night; music to a winemaker’s ears if trying to make wines of purity and balance. That sauvignon blanc is one of the grape varieties upon which they have focused much of their attention amply illustrates the kind of wine they are seeking to make in these fresher climes and they have produced what many consider to be Australia’s finest example, leaner and less pungent than , say, Marlborough sauvignon. 'Martin would trade herbaceousness for palate length every day of the week’ said Michael in a Decanter interview a few years ago. Chardonnay, shiraz and pinot noir are the other varieties made in styles that seek to reflect the quality of their Adelaide Hills fruit, all elegance and poise, but without losing sight of intensity. Martin, with the help of Adam Sadewitz, makes the wines while Michael evangelises about them around the world. They built a state of the art winery, cellars and offices, to a contemporary design, in 2000 and took the opportunity to incorporate the same environmentally aware philosophy they have always employed in the vineyards into the nuts and bolts of the heavily insulated buildings, including reduced water use, collecting rainwater and treating waste from the site, and they are pioneers of a state-wide initiative to monitor greenhouse emissions.In 2011 they purchased the Tolpuddle Vineyards near Richmond in Tasmania, planted with 20 hectares of mature pinot noir and chardonnay. The vineyard takes its name from the Tolpuddle Martyrs, 19th century pioneers of the trade union movement who were transported to Australia in punishment for their activities. The leader of the Martyrs, George Loveless, served part of his sentence working on land that is now embraced by the vineyards. Light soils and a cool, dry climate produce intensely flavoured grapes with bright acidity, perfect for premium pinot noir and chardonnay production.
A place of beautiful landscapes, this quaint island is separated from mainland Australia by the 240km stretch of the Bass Strait, and is a wine lover's and fisherman's dream. Boasting some of the world's finest seafood, its temperate climate makes it Australia's coolest wine producing region. As would be expected, sparkling wine, riesling and chardonnay thrive in Tasmania, but pinot noir can be exceptional, with a delicacy and lift often lacking in wines from the mainland.The vineyards are in the main part clustered close to the two major urban areas, the state capital Hobart in the south and Launceston in the north, though there are no geographical demarcations within the island and no matter where the grapes come from the wine is labelled ‘Tasmania’.The west coast of Tasmania is one of the wettest parts of Australia, but the area around Hobart is one of its driest and all the commercial vineyards sit in the east. The Coal River, Huon Valley and Derwent Valley areas embrace Hobart and are warmer and drier than other vineyard zones, and the Coal River sometimes requires irrigation. Around Launceston in the north the Tamar and Piper’s River areas are cooler, though Tamar is warmer than Piper’s Brook to the extent that it is not considered ideal for pinot noir plantings. The bottom line is that it is not easy to pigeonhole the larger areas of Tasmania and one is required to zoom in to examine districts and even vineyards. The geography and climate is complex and there are bound to be even more improvement as growers, especially those new to the island, get to grips with the variety of terroirs and the wonderful possibilities they offer.
Overall 2016 was a positive vintage for Australia with good volumes, and generally high quality wines being produced. Tasmania had a trickier 2016, with low yields and bush fires causing concern. A cool vintage too has highlighted the warmer more protected sites, but also allowed for great quality wines being produced in smaller volumes by more hands-on producers.
There are no member reviews for this product. Click the 'Leave a Review' button to be the first.
Yorkshire Post 7th Mar 2020
"Crisp and flinty,
almost Chablis-like in style with green apple notes and a minerally finish …
expensive, perfectly made and will age well. The kind of wine to pour for
knowledgeable wine friends to show how the world of wine is changing. - Christine Austin"
Log in to view notes
Sign up for a carefully-curated selection of recipes, guides, in-depth expertise and much more.
By using The Wine Society website, you agree to cookies being used in accordance with the policy outlined below. If you do not agree to this, you must alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you or cease using the website.
You may alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you, but this will cause difficulties when accessing and using some areas of the site. Instructions on how to do this can also be found below.
4.4.1. What are 'Cookies'?
4.4.2. How do Cookies help The Wine Society?
Cookies allow our website to function effectively. Cookies also help us to arrange content to match your preferred interests more quickly. We can learn what information is important to our visitors, and what isn't.
The Wine Society does not accept advertising from third parties and therefore, as a rule, does not serve third-party cookies. Exceptions to this include performance/analytical cookies (see below), used anonymously to improve the way our website works, the provision of personalised recommendations, and occasions when we may team up with suppliers to offer special discounts on goods or services.
The Society uses technology to track the patterns of behaviour of visitors to our site.
4.4.4. What type of cookies does The Wine Society use?
We use the following three types of cookies:
22.214.171.124. Strictly Necessary CookiesThese cookies are required for the operation of our website, enabling you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies, services like shopping baskets or e-billing cannot be provided. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:
126.96.36.199. Functionality & Targeting/Tracking CookiesThese cookies are used to recognise you when you return to our website and to provide enhanced features. This allows us to personalise our content for you. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:
188.8.131.52. Performance/analytical cookiesThese cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don't collect information which identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how a website works. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:
184.108.40.206. Authentication CookieIn order for us to ensure that your data remains secure it is necessary for us to verify that your session is authentic (i.e. it has not been compromised by a malicious user). We do this by storing an otherwise meaningless unique ID in a cookie for the duration of your visit. No personal information can be gained from this cookie.
4.4.5. How do you turn cookies off?
All modern browsers allow you to modify your cookie settings so that all cookies, or those types which are not acceptable to you, are blocked. However, please note that this may affect the successful functioning of the site, particularly if you block all cookies, including essential cookies. For example, In Internet Explorer, go to the Tools Menu, then go to Internet Options, then go to Privacy. Here you can change the rules your browser uses to accept cookies. You can find out more in the public sources mentioned below.
4.4.6. Learn more about cookies