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You might think it would be no easy feat to follow up the knockout 2021 vintage but Michael Downer has pulled it off with aplomb. “The Landau 2021 was among the top-scoring wines last year and the 2022 version is no different,” was how Ned Goodwin MW prefaced his note.. 2022 was another great year at this address, with cool conditions and plenty of rain promoting a prolonged, even season. The resulting fruit was exceptional: perfect ripeness and complex, layered profiles.
Though not the most expensive bottling in the range, Landau is in many ways Downer’s signature wine. It comes from a single parcel of vines at Murdoch Hill’s Landau block in Oakbank. It’s a predominately east-facing slope at 400 metres above sea level on shallow, red loam soils with varying levels of schist rock and a vein of ironstone. The vines were planted in 1998. Oakbank’s warmer, sunny days allow the Syrah to fully ripen while the afternoon breezes and cool nights promote natural acidity. The block is sustainably managed according to organic principles, with zero herbicides.
Downer’s style has always channelled the elegant, spicier side of Adelaide Hills Syrah. Cool-fruited freshness and lacy tannins form the foundation, while whole bunches, whole berries and restrained oak add the colour between the lines. The 2022 fermented with 20% whole bunches and was raised in older oak puncheons (just 15% new) and demi-muids for 10 months.
Ned’s note does not oversell the quality.
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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