Murdoch Hill Syrah 2017
Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Murdoch Hill has been in the Downer family since 1939 but vines were first planted here only in 1998. The farm is on the eastern side of the Adelaide Hills in the Onkaparinga Valley, with 21 hectares of vineyard on shallow red loam soils packed with schist and limestone and up to 516 metres above sea level. Since taking over the winemaking reins in 2012, Michael Downer has taken the farm’s wines to similar heights.
These vineyards are near Oakbank at an altitude of 420 metres. Their Cronberry block is predominantly east-facing and the Syrah / Shiraz has that bit more finesse for avoiding the harsh afternoon sunshine. Soils are predominantly sandy loam over clay, with varying levels of ironstone, quartz and schist. The wine spends 10 months in a combination of new (25%) and old French oak barriques and puncheons before bottling.
It's a typical cool-climate Syrah (written as such rather than "Shiraz" as a nod to the style), with perfumed red fruits, pepper and spices. There's succulent red fruit like raspberries and cherries, the tannins are fine and savoury with lingering flavours of red fruits and spice.