A. WADEWITZ & P. JOHNSON VINTAGE CHARDONNAY 2021
I first bothered Adam Wadewitz when he was at the helm of Best’s Great Western (which is one of Australia’s classic wineries, not a motel). I wanted to borrow him and his fermenters but I ended up using a winery closer to Melbourne for ease.
Ten years later and I bothered Adam again, this time to make P. Johnson a Chardonnay. Why? Because Adam is very very good at Chardonnay, and other wine too of course as you will evidence if you keep reading. Adam is chief winemaker at Shaw and Smith and has two equally impressive co-directors, Michael Hill-Smith and David LeMire who both happen to be Masters of Wine (of which there are not many in this universe so to have two of them in one Australian winery is indeed pretty snazzy). Amongst the Shaw and Smith wines, Adam also makes the fantastic MMAD wines from Blewitt Springs and the illustrious and highly coveted Tolpuddle wines from Tasmania.
If you need some sort of measurement on Adam’s ability, this abbreviated list of accolades should do it:
2009 Joint dux of the Len Evan’s Tutorial
2010 Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year Finalist
2011 Young Gun of Wine Finalist
2012 Jimmy Watson Trophy with the Best’s Bin 1 Shiraz 2011
2015 IWC - Three trophies for 2103 Tolpuddle Pinot Noir: Best Australian Red, Best Australian Pinot Noir, Best Tasmanian Pinot Noir.
2019 IWC - Three trophies for 2017 Tolpuddle Chardonnay: Best Australian White, Best Australian Chardonnay, Best Tasmanian Chardonnay.
2020 IWC - Five trophies for 2018 Tolpuddle Chardonnay: Champion White, Best International Chardonnay, Best Australian White, Best Australian Chardonnay, Best Tasmanian Chardonnay.
2022 IWC - Three trophies for 2020 Tolpuddle Chardonnay: Best Australian White, Best Australian Chardonnay, Best Tasmanian Chardonnay.
2018 Royal Melbourne Wine Show. Three trophies with the 2017 Tolpuddle Chardonnay: Best young white wine, Best Chardonnay, Best Single Vineyard Wine.
2019 Royal Melbourne Wine Show Trophy for best young white wine with the 2018 Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay.
2021 Royal Melbourne Wine Show. Five awards/trophies for the 2020 Tolpuddle Chardonnay: Best Young White Wine, Best Single Vineyard Wine, Best Tasmanian Chardonnay, Best Chardonnay and the Consistency of Excellence Medal.
2022 Decanter magazine white wine of the year (‘21 Tolpuddle Chardonnay)
😮💨….. and there are many many more too, including, interestingly - Tolpuddle is the only Australian wine to be exhibited at the famous Club Ficofi Le Palais des Grands Crus in Paris 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
So both you and Chardonnay are in very safe hands here.
The 2021 vintage Chardonnay that Adam and the team at Shaw & Smith made us comes from one of the highest single vineyard sites in the Mt Lofty Ranges. This vineyard is planted with a selection of Burgundian ‘Bernard’ clones of Chardonnay, not the normal suspects in Australian Chardonnay vineyards. The wine is fine and lean, with a beautiful mealy and creamy texture offset by tense line of acidity you should expect in a site as cool and high as this. The wine shows green nectarine flavours, it is citrus-like, subtly floral, and contrasted with grilled nut and flinty characters. With such a fine acid structure the wine will age beautifully for 5-12 years and we actually held it back for a year to settle its nerves before letting it go.