Downes Oscar Browne Chardonnay 2020

Tasting Notes

DISCLAIMER: In South Africa this wine is sold under the Shannon Vineyards label, but due to a trademark issue with Shannon Ridge Winery in Napa Valley, we’re obliged to market it in the US under the Downes Family label. You will notice that we’ve had a “Downes Family” sticker applied to the front label, in order to be compliant. (This can be peeled off easily, if you like, once you have received your wine) These are the lengths we go to, in order to bring you great wines like this.

Winery: Downes Family Vineyards
Varietal: Chardonnay
SKU: DOWOBCHA2020 Categories: ,
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Downes Oscar Browne Chardonnay



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.

Winemaker Notes

Picked twice during harvest – earlier and later picks to maximise the flavour 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%

Share This Wine


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Downes Oscar Browne Chardonnay 2020”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *