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Downes Family Semillon 2017

Downes Family Vineyards Downes Family Semillon 2017

93pts John Platter (4 1/2 stars) – Adds vineyard name with perfectly poised 17. Lambs wool & hay on scintillating array of aromas & flavors by rapier-like acidity. As with 16 and previous, ferment in 30% new oak, 9 months at 3 degrees C to retain freshness of lemon toned fruit.

92 pts Tim Atkin

89 pts Wine Advocate

Technical Notes

The grapes are chilled to 3ºC. The bunches are sorted on a conveyor, destemmed and crushed. All transfers of grape must and juice in these early stages are attained using gravity. Selected parcels of the grapes undergo a period of skin contact, at 8ºC to encapture favourable skin flavours. After a gentle pressing, the juice left to settle for a period of 72 hours at 2ºC. Fermentation in barrel continues until the wine is dry. The Semillon is fermented on natural yeasts and matured for 11 months in 30% new French oak, some older barrels and one 500 L barrel.

Alcohol: 13.5 %

Acidity: 6.6 g/l

pH: 3.15

Residual sugar: 2.4 g/l


The focus of this wine is based on a vineyard component arising from unique low yielding Table Mountain Sandstone soils. Using natural yeasts, Shannon Semillon expresses a very distinctive musky nose combining ginger, quinine, lime zest, cardamom in a minerally and flinty style. The naturally fermented Semillon, matured on the lees, provides a fuller mouth feel and adds to the complexity of the wine. It is round on entry, then dense and concentrated in the middle, with a saline element giving the spice and citrus flavors a tactile feel that reminded one of an Old World version of this grape. This wine was vinified in a style that enhances the aging potential of Semillon.


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