The Pauls Lane Pinot was hand harvested from Toolangi's 2001 plantings (MV6 clone grapes in E Block rows 46-66), partially de-stemmed (50% whole bunches retained) and naturally fermented in open top wooden fermenters. In total, the wine spent 23 days on skins before being pressed to French oak (20% new) for eight months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Expect layers of fleshy Pinot fruit, suggesting rose petal, plum and earth, balanced by fine, powdery tannins and a long complex finish that perfumes the mouth with sour cherries and sappy freshness.
"A producer that demonstrates a deep commitment to terroir in producing Australia’s finest and most distinctive wines." Nick Stock, Good Wine Guide In case you hadn’t heard the good news, 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 and Kelly Healey working closely with seasoned Yarra viticulturist John Evans. Herman’s CV includes stints at Seville Estate, Viticoltori De Concillis in Campania, Coldstream Hills, Punch (formally Diamond Valley) and Mount Mary where he worked as assistant winemaker for 8 years before joining Toolangi. Kelly Healey started his wine career in Otago in his homeland of New Zealand before donning the Blundsones at Chandon in the Yarra Valley and Moet & Chandon in India, followed by a spell at Kilchurn in Macedon until he accepted the role working alongside Kaspar. Crucial to the Toolangi team is experienced viticulturist, John Evans. John’s previous experience includes 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. Another positive is that there are currently 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.
CAMPBELL MATTINSON - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
Destemmed to open fermenters, 50% whole bunches, 23 days on skins, 8 months in oak (20% new). It somehow manages to be complex and effortless at once. Sappy herbs, boysenberry and red cherry, fennel seeds and tobacco. There's smoky oak too, and associated svelte texture, but there's so much going on that it's hard to see where one thing starts and the other leaves off. Always a good sign. It's a wine to make pinot drinkers happy.
CAMPBELL MATTINSON - THE WINE FRONT
It’s a very good wine. Dry and structural but with some beef on its bones. Tobacco, fennel, boysenberry and cedar-spiced oak all play roles. It feels meaty but it also feels fresh. Plenty of smoky tannin too. The Toolangi wines are in excellent shape.
HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
The colour is medium to full and youthful and there's a vegetal, humus-like note with a trace of pencil shavings oak. It’s medium to full-bodied, intense and bold, with moderate pinosity and a touch of firmness in its tannins. A very good wine that needs a bit more time and has a solid future in the cellar.