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Murdoch Hill Apollo Pinot Noir 2022

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Murdoch Hill Apollo Pinot Noir 2022
Producer Murdoch Hill
Region, Country Adelaide Hills, Australia
Bottle Size 750ml
Case Size 6
Product Code 22231-750

Now in its third year, 2022 marks a significant point in Apollo’s evolution. For previous releases, Michael has sourced fruit from one to three vineyards in the Piccadilly Valley’s western ridge. This year, 100% of the fruit for the Apollo was sourced from the family’s recently acquired Lenswood Vineyard. Initially planted in 1989, the Pinot Noir plantings total 35% of the acreage. There are four blocks; two were planted in the early 2000s to Dijon 114 and 115 (facing southwest); and the D5V12 blocks were planted in 1989 in the top corner of the vineyard facing east. Fruit for the 2022 Apollo came from the two 1989 blocks—one of which is very rich in ironstone, giving a deep tannin profile to the fruit—and one of the 114/115 clone blocks. Each parcel was fermented separately in 2.2-tonne fermenters, and the end composition is roughly equal to each block.

Cooler conditions in 2022 saw a decrease in the whole bunch component to 20%. The wine was raised in a mixture of French and Austrian demi-muids, puncheons and barriques (roughly 40% new) for nine months. Downer is working with tight grain, low-impact barrels to build texture and structure into the wines.

With the strength of the Lenswood fruit behind it, Apollo has taken off. From the very first sip, you get an enticing perfume of red fruits and dark berries mingling with savoury spice, tilled earth and a complexing smoky reduction. The palate is a real charmer, with pure and fleshy fruit calibrated to supple, velvety weight and a fine web of fluid tannins and acidity bringing sculpted shape and refreshment. Taking nothing away from the previous releases and forgiving the galactic analogy, it’s on another planet.


Murdoch Hill Apollo Pinot Noir 2022

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Reviews

"Whiffs of cap gun, warm slate, a bit of flint too, plus dark cherry, salted liquorice. Savoury start, very. Smoky and flinty to taste, an override on dark cherry fruit, plum, licks of liquorice again and lingers with smokiness again. Tannins are grippy and Italianate, but the savoury and herbal elements rule. A caveat for some. Structured, serious pinot noir. A bottle opened day before: less of the savoury elements, chewy, juicy, dark fruited and the tannins ripping with authority. More fruit and herb and spice here. A better wine."
94+ points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
"A cool vintage, but a good one. Typically regional aromas of mescal and dill, derived from a good whack of whole bunches in the mix. Damson, mandarin bitters, bracken and gunpowder, the fleck of stalky, green tannins too evident and herbaceous. Yet the fruit beyond has charm. The structure of the wine has gravitas. This is no simple and sweet pinot. There is more going on, yet only time will tell if the green astringency is to be absorbed. Best after 2026. Screw cap."
93 points, Ned Goodwin MW, jamessuckling.com
“Deep, brooding red with a good tint of purple, the bouquet tinged with nutty oak over black cherry and herby stalky nuances, while the palate is broad and soft, full and round, a little loose in its structure, suggesting it's not for long keeping. On the other hand there is plenty of tannin and backbone. It could surprise. A generous, robust pinot.”
93 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review
"The 2022 Apollo Pinot Noir is concentrated and densely fruited, with cherry, kirsch, pomegranate, strawberry, cranberry and lashings of leafy spice. The wine is filling and fulsome, with a persistent core of fruit that unfurls and lingers through the finish. In fact, the finish is truly were this wine comes alive, the layers peel back and some of the previously hidden complexity is revealed. This is a good wine here, really good. 13% alcohol, sealed under screw cap."
94 points, Erin Larkin, The Wine Advocate

Reviews

"Whiffs of cap gun, warm slate, a bit of flint too, plus dark cherry, salted liquorice. Savoury start, very. Smoky and flinty to taste, an override on dark cherry fruit, plum, licks of liquorice again and lingers with smokiness again. Tannins are grippy and Italianate, but the savoury and herbal elements rule. A caveat for some. Structured, serious pinot noir. A bottle opened day before: less of the savoury elements, chewy, juicy, dark fruited and the tannins ripping with authority. More fruit and herb and spice here. A better wine."
94+ points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
"A cool vintage, but a good one. Typically regional aromas of mescal and dill, derived from a good whack of whole bunches in the mix. Damson, mandarin bitters, bracken and gunpowder, the fleck of stalky, green tannins too evident and herbaceous. Yet the fruit beyond has charm. The structure of the wine has gravitas. This is no simple and sweet pinot. There is more going on, yet only time will tell if the green astringency is to be absorbed. Best after 2026. Screw cap."
93 points, Ned Goodwin MW, jamessuckling.com
“Deep, brooding red with a good tint of purple, the bouquet tinged with nutty oak over black cherry and herby stalky nuances, while the palate is broad and soft, full and round, a little loose in its structure, suggesting it's not for long keeping. On the other hand there is plenty of tannin and backbone. It could surprise. A generous, robust pinot.”
93 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review
"The 2022 Apollo Pinot Noir is concentrated and densely fruited, with cherry, kirsch, pomegranate, strawberry, cranberry and lashings of leafy spice. The wine is filling and fulsome, with a persistent core of fruit that unfurls and lingers through the finish. In fact, the finish is truly were this wine comes alive, the layers peel back and some of the previously hidden complexity is revealed. This is a good wine here, really good. 13% alcohol, sealed under screw cap."
94 points, Erin Larkin, The Wine Advocate

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