Let’s cut to the chase. Vintage 2021 was a stunning year for this producer’s wines, and the Galactic Series represents Murdoch Hill’s cream of the crop. Downer has been making Pinot Noir in the Piccadilly Valley since 2013, working with “…a bunch of different growers, all with different aspects, clones, soil types and climates”. And, while a super-premium Pinot to join the Galactic Series had been in the pipeline for a few years, it wasn’t until 2020 that Downer took the plunge. It speaks volumes that he chose what was, on paper, a controversial vintage to release his top-tier Pinot Noir. He was proved right to do so, even if Apollo II expands those boundaries. This year’s wine is drawn from a single vineyard in the Piccadilly Valley and combines beautiful depth of fruit with incredible fragrance and purity.