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Michael 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 has been in the pipeline for a few years, it wasn’t until 2020 that Downer was provided with the perfect storm.
Downer has worked closely with three different vineyards all on the Western ridge on predominantly east-facing slopes. One vineyard that Downer has been taking fruit from since 2016 has consistently stood out. 85% of The Apollo 2020 comes from this site, located in Piccadilly just opposite the Mt Lofty Botanic Garden. The understudy source is in Ashton, and contributes more underfloor, forest notes to offset the Piccadilly vineyard’s red-fruited intensity.
The fruit saw 40% whole-bunch fermentation, and was raised in one puncheon, one Stockinger 600 litre demi-muid and one Chassin barrique for up to 10 months. The final bottling is the product of strict selection, where Downer searched for wines that had the texture, layers and depth to go with that fragrant, perfumed lift that epitomises the best Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir. Only 100 dozen were made.
We respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation, who are the Traditional Owners of the land on which we operate in Melbourne, and pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging. We also acknowledge and respect the Traditional Owners of lands across Australia, their Elders, Ancestors, cultures and heritage, and recognise the continuing sovereignties of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nations.
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