Murdoch Hill | Artisan Series | Landau Syrah
Current Vintage: 2017
In many ways, this is Michael Downer's signature wine. It comes from a single parcel of vines at Murdoch Hill's Landau block in Oakbank. The vines here were planted in 1998 and sit on a predominately east-facing slope in shallow, red loam soils with varying levels of schist rock and ironstone. Oakbank's warmer, sunny days allow for the Syrah vines to fully ripen their fruit whilst the afternoon breezes and cool nights help the fruit retain its natural acidity.
Of course, any talk of warm weather should be put into context - this is still the Adelaide Hills and the Landau site sits at 400 metres above sea level. So we are well and truly in cool climate territory here. Downer wild ferments this wine with 20% whole bunches and whole berries in small one tonne, open fermenters. Again, oak maturation is minimal, with the wine raised in older French oak puncheons (10% new) for roughly 9-10 months.
In the Adelaide Hills wine region, winemakers make bold decisions to produce unique wines. Just 20 minutes from Adelaide, it's a lush, leafy retreat with more going on than meets the eye.
The landscape here is as diverse as the wines. Roads twist and turn, and steep hills and valleys create different microclimates. it's a region that inspires creativity in its artists, its food producers and its winemakers.
The Adelaide Hills is a relatively young wine region that's playing a vital part in the evolution of Australian wine. it's acclaimed for cool-climate classics like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and is pushing the case for alternative varieties.
"Savoury perfume of red currants/berries, briar and undergrowth, white pepper, faint rhubarb and graphite notes. Savoury and gamey to taste, pepper over red berry fruits, dusty and medium weight. Sheath of fine tannins finishing the wine very well. Lovely, lighter, fresher, drink younger style, with seriousness and elegance on its side." 93 points, The Wine Front"