Toolangi Chardonnay 2018
6 PACK BUY. New release .. new owner .. new label!
Helmut Konecsny, the owner of Rochford Wines, has purchased Toolangi Vineyards and has immediately started ringing in the changes. Of course, it’s early days, but from what we have seen so far, the future for Toolangi now looks very, very bright. Apart from the new packaging, Konecsny and his team seem very serious about rejuvenating and upgrading the work in the vines. This was, after all, one of the few Yarra producers to engage the services of renowned soil scientist Claude Bourguignon on his recent visit to Australia, and the Toolangi vineyard was one of the sites he analysed. In terms of winemaking, Toolangi will now control its own destiny with the talented duo of Kaspar Hermann (stints at Seville Estate, Viticoltori De Concillis in Campania, Coldstream Hills, Punch and 8 years as assistant winemaker at Mount Mary before joining Toolangi) and Kelly Healey (started his wine career in Otago in his homeland of New Zealand then Chandon in the Yarra Valley and Moet & Chandon in India, followed by a spell at Kilchurn in Macedon). Crucial to the Toolangi team is experienced viticulturist, John Evans (previously Chief Viticulturist at Yering Station for 14 years, Vineyard Manager at Yarra Ridge and worked at De Bortoli, as well as various Vineyard Consulting roles including the setup and redevelopment of Toolangi Vineyard in 2001, which he has continued to this day.) Safe to say, John knows the Yarra like the back of his hand and exactly how to get the best from the Toolangi vineyard.
There are now only two tiers of wine—the Toolangi and Paul’s Lane labels. The first set of wines under the new team hail from 2018. Under the new regime, there is no inoculation for any of the wines, the Pinots take in a large portion of whole bunch ferments, and the reds are neither fined nor filtered. The winemakers also take a balanced approach to new oak, so even the top label is capped at 20% new barrels. It’s very early days, yet the first set of wines makes a statement—an excellent statement. Going forward it will be fascinating to see the consequences of Konecsny’s and the new team’s intention to apply the time honoured vigneron model on the Toolangi wines. The future is bright.
The Toolangi Chardonnay was hand harvested from Toolangi’s 2001 plantings (on A1, A2 & C Blocks), crushed and pressed with full solids straight to oak (20% new). Fermentations were wild and the wine spent eight months on lees in barrel before bottling. This is really outstanding value. There’s plenty of richness and yet the wine walks that line between primary fruit and reduction wonderfully well. Expect layers of ripe, creamy fruit that suggests both lemon curd and pink grapefruit, very classy resinous oak and a long, savoury close. This really impressive first release is a genuine step up.
“On the money. Lovely wine to drink. Enough flavour, enough complexity, a bit of style and a satisfying finish. Honeysuckle, flint, stonefruit, malt and toast. Oak is sinking deliciously into the wine. Bran/toasty oat-like highlights too. The more I looked at it the more I liked it.” 93 points, Campbell Mattinson, Winefront.com.au
RRP $31 **6 PACK BUY** Only $25.5 when you buy 6**
|Region or Country||
Australia, Yarra Valley