Murdoch Hill - Epitome of Adelaide Hills Elegance

Since taking over winemaking at Murdoch Hill the wines have gone from strength to strength, testament to Michael Downer’s skill and talent – the future looks bright. HUON HOOKE, gourmettravellerwine.com

Before taking the reins at the family vineyard, Michael Downer learnt from some of the finest makers, both here and abroad. He now works from the Murdoch Hill home vineyards, near Oakbank, but also sources higher into the Adelaide Hills for cooler expressions, which inform his cutting edge Artisan Series wines. Young Gun of Wine Awards

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Murdoch Hill has claimed a place at the table of the best Adelaide Hills producers, and this compelling set of new releases reaffirms their status. There’s beautiful confidence inherent in their premium chardonnays and pinots – they’re arresting in their depth and detail.

The pinots possess a silken texture while the chardonnays are fleshy countered by tension. Exuberantly styled, there is so much detail to them that keeps luring you back for another sip. These are a delicious set of premium Aussie wines.

Established in the late 1990s, today Michael Downer deftly leads the charge at Murdoch Hill. Having worked vintages at Vietti (Piedmont), Best’s Great Western and Shaw & Smith, Downer has fine-tuned the craft of making wine.

He’s garnered a swag of awards including Gourmet Traveller’s Young Winemaker of the Year and the Young Gun of Wine title. His sensibilities combined with the prime sweep of Adelaide Hill vineyards at his hands make for a thrilling set of wines that are expressive and packed with nuance.

Like many great wine minds, to embrace the vigour and purity of fruit and effectively translate the terroir, herbicides are avoided in the vineyards.

The Tilbury Chardonnay boasts a richer side with flavours of hazelnuts and smokey wafts around a core of pure chardonnay fruit and a nervy line of acidity. Its big sister, the very limited Rocket Chardonnay takes you on an explosive ride. Its layered core is a complex and heady mix, while its suave texture a standout. It’s a resplendent take on Piccadilly Chardonnay with vigour and precision.

For the reds, the Phaedon Pinot is sappy and spicy, one for the hedonists. Whole bunches impart peppery tones and slinky tannins, its savoury side is offset by alluring fruits and florals. The first release of the Apollo is a supremely elegant pinot. Its intense core of sweet spiced cherries engulfs the whole bunch smoked meat flavours, tempering the alluring florals.

These are beautifully composed wines, with age they’ll take on some savoury tertiary tones.  They’re not for everyday drinking. Serve them when you have something to celebrate, but don’t overshare as you’ll want to top yourself up.

Single bottles attract a 15% discount and 6 packs have 20%. The Rocket and Apollo are limited. These prices will last for two weeks only.