Pooley Butcher’s Hill Chardonnay 2022
Pooley Butcher’s Hill Chardonnay 2022
Pooley Wines is a family-owned vineyard that was established in 1985 by Denis and Margaret Pooley, who planted vines on the banks of the Coal River in southern Tasmania. Initially, the vineyard was meant to be a retirement plan for the couple, but it soon turned into a passion project that flourished into a renowned premium cool-climate site. With the help of their son and grandchildren, three generations of the Pooley family have continued to bring meticulous care to their Cooinda Vale vineyard. In 2003, John Pooley and his wife Libby expanded their estate and established a second vineyard, Butcher’s Hill, with its first vintage produced in 2007. The passing of Margaret Pooley in 2010 marked a turning point for the family business, with Margaret’s granddaughter, Anna Pooley, returning to the family business in 2013. From this point onward, Pooley Wines has been made entirely by family hands. Today, more than 35 years after its establishment, Pooley Wines is recognised as one of Australia’s most renowned cool-climate producers. The Halliday Wine Companion awarded Pooley Wines the 2023 Winery of the Year, a testament to the family’s philosophy of making wines that reflect their unique environment while pushing the quality of the grapes and the wines even further. The Coal River Valley produces some of Australia’s finest wines, and Pooley Wines is at the forefront of this prestigious industry.
The Coal River Valley is a region rich in geological diversity, with alluvial soils, Permian mudstone and sandstone outcrops, Triassic sandstones, shales and coal measures, as well as numerous injections of Jurassic dolerite in pockets of the area. Tertiary basalt sediments and ferricrete deposits are also common throughout the Valley, contributing to the unique characteristics of Pooley Wines' Butchers Hill vineyard. Despite being drier than its northern and southern counterparts, the region still benefits from the surrounding Southern Ocean, providing a long ripening period moderated by a maritime climate. Pooley Wines implements a strong focus on biological farming and regenerative agricultural practices, allowing them to future-proof themselves from a changing climate while maintaining productivity and resilience.
Butchers Hill Vineyard is a striking feature of the Richmond landscape, with its steep north-facing slope protruding from its borders. This unique position provides the site with long hours of sunlight, protection from cold southern winds, and increased soil drainage. The soil at Butchers Hill is rich in iron oxide deposits, which allows for heat and water to be held longer due to its darker and more clay-based composition. These soil attributes also interact with the production of flavonoids in the fruit, resulting in complex and robust wines that are characteristic of the region. The lead-up to the 2022 vintage was marked by some of the wettest winters on record, followed by a cool and drying spring into summer, with high humidity. These factors contributed to healthy canopies and bunch numbers, but the cool conditions around the time of flowering resulted in some poor fruit set in earlier flowering varieties. This led to a combination of small and large size berries, reducing overall yields and intake in those varieties. Despite starting a couple of days later than usual, the vintage was of high quality due to the favourable conditions.
One standout from the vintage is the Pooley Butcher’s Hill Chardonnay 2022. This elegant and refined chardonnay is a true representation of the region's cool-climate character. The grapes were hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed to tank before being racked to barrel for 20 days of wild barrel fermentation. The wine then underwent an 8-month maturation in 25% new French oak barriques, with minimal lees stirring and 20% malolactic fermentation. On the nose, the Pooley Butcher’s Hill Chardonnay 2022 offers aromas of apricot and white nectar, with subtle hints of flint and orchard fruits. On the palate, lifted lime notes are joined by chalk minerality and delicate hints of buttered popcorn. This is a wine that showcases the best of the region's terroir and winemaking techniques, resulting in a truly exceptional chardonnay.
The Finer Details
Style - White Wine
Varietal - Chardonnay
Country - Australia
Region - Coal River Valley, Tasmania
Vintage - 2022
Bottle Size - 750ml
ABV - 13%