"A show-stopping vintage for this wine with such complex, deeply ripe dark-plum and berry aromas on offer, as well as cocoa and deeply wrapped spices. The palate is suave and supple. Very polished tannins carry ripe dark-cherry and berry flavours long and seamless." 96 points, Jamessuckling.com
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, a predominately east-facing slope in shallow, red loam soils with varying levels of schist rock and ironstone. The vines were planted in 1998 and sit at 400 metres above sea level. Oakbank's warmer, sunny days allow for the Syrah vines to fully ripen their fruit while the afternoon breezes and cool nights help promote natural acidity. The block is sustainably managed, with zero herbicide use and organic principles. Downer wild ferments this wine with 50% whole bunches and whole berries in small one-tonne open fermenters. Oak maturation is minimal, with the wine raised in older French oak puncheons (less than 10% new) for 10 months.