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Michael Downer is the embodiment of the young Australian winemaker, boldly taking his family winery into new territory. The mission of he and his brother's Artisan range is to "create a series of wines that captured the timeless qualities of craft and precision." This Syrah from their home-owned Oakbank vineyard is just that. It's a wine of detail, it is expressive and evocative. It's classy cool-climate Syrah, the way it's meant to be. The 2014 release impressed the pants off Campbell Mattinson, who in the Australian Wine Companion, awarded it a stellar 96 points and a Value for Money Star. The 2015 vintage looks like it could just top its predecessor as Michael tries to "build more layers and textures into the wine" by picking on multiple days and varying his amounts of whole bunch, time on skins etc. This wine combines a great site with thoughtful winemaking; a winning combination and a tantalising example of things to come from this exciting Adelaide Hills operation.
What it Tastes Like
This is a high tensile style of Syrah. It feels moody yet fresh, all dark berries and a swarth of spice. Long, fine, ropes of tannin snake through the mouth. Great shape, and boy does it drive through the finish. The generosity of the vintage showing through. Great wine with a long life ahead of it.
96 points. "Another notch up the ladder from Cronberry Block. It is made with the same attention to detail, black fruits of every description on parade, laced with spice, pepper, leather and licorice, oak and tannins circling the palate from start to finish." - James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion) 93 points. "From a single vineyard in Oakbank comes the e’er reliable Landau from Murdoch Hill. Effortless wines these. Pure expressions. Fragrant, medium weight, spicy, easy to drink, really good. You could leave it at that. It smells of salted plums and liquorice with dashes of briar. The palate is succulent, sits sweet-fruited and spicy upfront then runs smoothly into a transition of suede-textured tannins that takes the soft wine into its chewy finish. Tannins are excellent, actually. The wine feels built for speed of drinking but taking seriously, Man, it is good." - Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
Source: Oakbank Altitude: 400m Hand Picked, 50% Whole bunch Ferment Older French Oak, Unfiltered
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2025
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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