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Downes Oscar Browne Chardonnay 2020


95 pts WINEMAG.CO.ZA  August 2022

Matured for 11 months in 228-litre barrels, 23% new. Struck-match reduction before citrus and oatmeal on the nose. The palate has immense depth of fruit and bright acidity before a savoury finish. Very well balanced – great definition, texture and verve.

93 pts Tim Atkin MW 2021

An exciting new release from the Shannon team, made with fruit from a vineyard that is only four years old. Racy, cool climate-fresh and subtly wooded, with good texture and weight and a taut, oyster shell and citrus fruit finish. Very promising. 2022-26

92 pts – James Suckling Dec, 2021

A salty, characterful chardonnay with dried pineapples, flint, oyster shells, smoked almonds and salted lemons on the nose. Medium-bodied with vibrant acidity. Focused, sharp and tight. Sustainable. Drink or hold.

4 ½ Stars 2022 Platter’s South African Wine Guide

Maiden vintage off single vineyard, 20 (91 pts) announces a fine wine as the vines age. Toasty aromas (23% new oak), with plenty of citrus-accented flavours leading to a grippy, lengthy finish, all tied together with lovely thread of acidity.

Technical Notes

Picked twice during harvest – earlier and later picks to maximize the flavor spectrum that the vineyards could offer. The Chardonnay bunches are chilled to 3°C over night before being tipped on a conveyor where the bunches are then hand sorted, for whole bunch pressing. After pressing, the settled juice is then racked into barrel for natural fermentation by indigenous yeasts. Undergoes 100% malolactic fermentation in barrel but no lees stirring.

Matured in barriques (228L) for approximately 11 months using a blend of 3 Burgundian cooperages. The oak used is of a tighter grain and medium toasted to complete its malolactic fermentation and maturation in oak barriques. New oak – 23%, 2nd fill – 50% and 3rd fill – 27%.


A range of flavors are expressed from vibrant floral, saline, citrus/tangerine and white peach with a river stone mineral edge. Each clone is vinified and matured separately to enhance its individuality, before combining in the final blend. The Wine is racked into stainless steel for 2 months to settle, no fining and a light filtration before bottling. We respect the power and elegance delivered in this beautiful expression of Chardonnay displaying the full flavor spectrum delivered by the blend of 50% clone CY 95 to the 25% clone CY 76 and 25% clone CY 548, in our Shannon “Oscar Browne” Chardonnay.


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