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When James Halliday says a wine is a "must-buy", you sit up and pay attention. Michael Downer has been carefully honing his craft with cool climate Syrah over the last few years, each new release gets a little more impressive. Pound for pound, this may be his best value Syrah to date. This comes from the Cronberry vineyard in the Adelaide Hills. It's a wine that shows off all the hallmarks of both the vineyard and the skillful hands of its creator. It's about style and elegance, not brute force. 2014 was a long cool grow season, marked by little sunlight for the vineyard. Michael says this "Allowed us to slowly build flavours without sugar ripeness racing through". It's made with 25% whole bunches and a judicious combination of maturation in new and old oak for 10 months. If you're on the lookout for top value, spicy, modern Syrah, this is one of the best from this region under $30.
What it Tastes Like
"Fragrant, spiced black cherry and a twitch of French oak soar from the bouquet, the palate building on a similar array of flavours. Excellent fine tannins (part fruit, part oak) put this wine into a must-buy category for drinking now or much later." - James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
95 points "Fragrant, spiced black cherry and a twitch of French oak soar from the bouquet, the palate building on a similar array of flavours. Excellent fine tannins (part fruit, part oak) put this wine into a must-buy category for drinking now or much later." - James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion) 92 points. "Spicy with a pleasant bunchy green perfume, raspberry and cherry. Medium bodied, sweet berries, plum and vanilla, laden with spice and cut back with cranberry acidity and slaty tannin. Finish is juicy and pretty long. Very easy to enjoy." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
Part of Murdoch Hill's Oakbank vineyard (at 420 metres in the Adelaide Hills), the Cronberry block is a predominately east-facing slope, producing Shiraz of noteworthy finesse (by avoiding the harsh afternoon sun). The soil structure is predominately sandy loam over medium clay subsoils, with varying levels of ironstone, quartz and schist rock. The fruit is hand-picked, open-fermented, 25% whole bunches, 10 months in new and used French oak. The 2014 is typically, elegant cool climate Shiraz from this rising-star estate.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
About the Producer
Murdoch Hill is a family-owned winery captained by talented young winemaker Michael Downer. Downer splits the range in two: his clean-cut, consistently high-quality ‘Estate’ wines are excellent value and perpetually reliable, and his quirky, adventurous ‘Artisan’ wines which offer an alt-styling and different shades of the region. With the combination of high-quality Adelaide Hills fruit grown on the family estate and the undoubted talent in the winery, this is a Hills producer on the up and up!
The Adelaide Hills may be the most energised wine region in the country. The sense of exploration and creativity amongst the tribe of talented young winemakers in this region is unparralelled. The Hills has become crucible of Australian wine talent, offering an array of varieties, from classics such as Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, to new varieties like Nebbiolo and Grüner Veltliner for the younger generation to play with. Every vintage brings new colour and complexity to the rich wine, food and produce culture of this cool climate region.
Long held up to the rest of the world as Australia’s flagship red variety, the mighty Australian Shiraz has undergone something of a renaissance over the past two decades. While our robust styles of Shiraz from powerhouse South Australian regions such as the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale may have put Australian wine on the map, Shiraz from our cooler regions are giving the variety a new look. Wines from Canberra, all parts of Victoria, the Adelaide Hills, and the Great Southern, are all delivering wines of finesse and spice set to a lighter framework. The tapestry of Australian Shiraz is richly diverse, and will only continue to develop and mature into the future.
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