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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

Step into a realm of elegance and vibrant charm with the Downes Oscar Browne Chardonnay 2020, a wine that emanates the refined beauty and dynamic taste of South Africa’s esteemed vineyards. Crafted with precision in the lush, sunlit valleys of the Western Cape, this Chardonnay is a beacon of the Downes Family’s dedication to excellence and a pure love for the wine-crafting heritage. In the embrace of these terroirs, the Chardonnay grapes absorb the intricate symphony of sunlight, soil, and breezes, encapsulating a taste that is uniquely and authentically South African. The Downes Oscar Browne Chardonnay 2020 is not just a bottle of wine; it’s a canvas, painting a flavor picture that is rich, inviting, and endlessly captivating.

Technical Notes

  • Grape Variety: 100% Chardonnay
  • Vineyard Location: The vineyards are nestled in the iconic wine regions of the Western Cape, South Africa.
  • Vineyard Management: Adopting sustainable farming practices, the vineyards are meticulously managed to foster the growth of high-quality Chardonnay grapes.
  • Harvesting: The grapes are harvested by hand at the break of dawn to retain their freshness and vibrancy.
  • Fermentation: Fermentation is conducted in temperature-controlled environments, with a mix of stainless steel and oak barrels used to enhance the wine’s complexity and character.
  • Aging Process: A portion of the wine undergoes aging in French oak barrels, adding layers of vanilla and toast to the wine’s aromatic profile without overshadowing its fruity essence.
  • Alcohol Content: The alcohol content is precisely balanced at around 13% – 13.5%.
  • Bottling: Bottled at the estate to ensure the integrity and quality of the wine is maintained from the vineyard to your glass.


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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