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Michael Downer’s approach to his Artisan label is one that we are seeing again and again from the ‘Young Guns’ of Aussie wine. Less is more.
This Pinot Meunier is grown on two vineyards in the Adelaide Hills, the fruit from Oakbank lending some high-toned aromatics and ‘prettiness’ to the slightly more ‘broody’ portion coming from Piccadilly.
The winemaking is stripped right back. The fruit is doing all the talking and we loved what it was saying.
Mike Bennie gushed over this release giving it 92 points and the more reds like this available in the country, the better we say. Get familiar with this variety, it’s starting to do some wonderful things in this country and this release is one of the most interesting getting around.
What It Tastes Like
“Blastoff. This rockets out of the glass. It’s all pickled cherries, sweet spice, crisp acidity and light, powdery tannins. It sits up in the palate and positively bursts forth. It’s a smile on your dial and a dip in your step. It’s fine, fresh and fruity, then shows some mettle of faint structure even amongst the loose-knit feel. Indeed, I like the spread of soft, tangy flavour as the wine opens up too. It’s got lots going for it, with drinkability and enjoyment to the fore.” - Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
92 points “Blastoff. This rockets out of the glass. It’s all pickled cherries, sweet spice, crisp acidity and light, powdery tannins. It sits up in the palate and positively bursts forth. It’s a smile on your dial and a dip in your step. It’s fine, fresh and fruity, then shows some mettle of faint structure even amongst the loose-knit feel. Indeed, I like the spread of soft, tangy flavour as the wine opens up too. It’s got lots going for it, with drinkability and enjoyment to the fore.”
- Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
Uraidla (Piccadilly Valley) A high altitude vineyard in the Piccadilly Valley of the Adelaide Hills, the Pinot Meunier vines planted in 1996 have a North West aspect giving plenty of sunshine required to express this intriguing grape varietal to it’s full potential. These vines stand at 525m taking a few degrees edge off the summer heat with very cool night temperatures, retaining beautiful natural acidity. Oakbank Vineyard On the Western ridges of Oakbank with an elevation of 400m, ripening much earlier than the Piccadilly Valley and shows much more aromatic vibrant bright red cherry fruits, overall a much finer delicate style of Pinot Meunier.
This wine is made to best express both the unique characters of Pinot Meunier and of the Adelaide Hills, using a more hands off winemaking approach with more traditional techniques. Including a high proportion of whole bunches, natural fermentation from indigenous yeast, no acidification and bottling without any fining or filtration. The wine is matured in older French oak for a short period to best express the fruit
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2021
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.
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