Michael Downer's blue-ribbon Pinot is a blend of fruit from two Piccadilly vineyards high up in the Hills. The first site lies outside the town of Piccadilly, below Mount Lofty, and provides Downer with a delicate and fine wine with pretty aromatics and pure, red fruit notes. The second vineyard, in Ashton, sits on a steep, east-facing slope on rather shallow sandstone and hard soils. Naturally yields are very low, providing fruit with structure and persistence.
The altitude and aspect of both sites provides the elongated ripening conditions that Pinot Noir loves. From harvest to blending, Downer handled each clone separately. Each batch retained a portion of whole berries and whole bunches (30%). Again, oak impact was kept minimal, with the wine raised in mostly French oak puncheons and barrique—approximately one quarter new—for roughly 9-10 months. Bottled without fining or filtration.
"A pinot with finesse and power in equal parts and one that delivers alluringly layered, complex style on release. The nose has almost tarry notes, as well as toasted spices and intense red to dark cherries, blackcurrants and violets. The palate is just so crunchy and vibrant, delivering sleekly refined tannin and almost paper-fine texture. Long, fresh and intense. Best from 2024."
97 points, Nick Stock, JamesSuckling.com