Current Vintage: 2018
Vintage may vary during the year. If you are looking for a specific vintage, please get in touch.
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.
The Adelaide Hills are certainly alive - perhaps not with the sound of music - but rather, vast quantities of unique wines that circulate through the region's pristine body. This region is still a new kid on the Australian wine block - but is producing finessed cool climate classics such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Hipster’s will be happy in the Adelaide Hills too, with the region being home to a plethora of alternative varietals such as Blaufrankisch and Gruner Veltliner.
The Hills are chock full of cellar doors serving up the best of the region's food and wine output. The cooler climate that comes with altitude serves as an important point of difference from the warmer regions in Adelaide - tarty and acidic wines dominate over the more ripe fruit that can be found elsewhere in the State of Adelaide.
"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