Shannon current releases
By Christian Eedes, 18 August 2022
When Stuart and James Downes established Elgin property Shannon Vineyards in the early 2000s, they forwent planting Chardonnay as they believed the market for this variety was saturated and instead opted for Viognier. The district’s general propensity to produce Chardonnay of excellence proved impossible to deny forever and 0.8ha block was duly planted, 50% planted to clone CY 95, 25% to CY 76 and 25% to CY 548, the maiden vintage being 2020. Tasting notes and ratings for this and the other current releases as follows:
Shannon Oscar Browne Chardonnay 2020
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.
CE’s rating: 95/100.
Shannon Rockview Ridge Pinot Noir 2020
From three clones – 113, 115 and 667. Matured for 11 months in 228-litre barrels, 25% new. Seductive aromatics of musk, red cherry, orange and white pepper while the palate is open and approachable – pure fruit, vibrant acidity and fine tannins. Delicious!
CE’s rating: 92/00.
Shannon Rock n Rolla Pinot Noir 2020
From a single vineyard planted in 2000 to clone 113. Red and black cherry, tea leaf, truffle, earth and spice on the nose while the palate is light and fresh with filigree tannins, the finish long and dry.
CE’s rating: 93/100.
Shannon Mount Bullet Merlot 2019
From five different clones. Matured for 20 months in French oak, 25% new. Compelling aromatics of red and black berries, violets, some leafiness, pencil shavings and earth. The palate possesses a great core of fruit, bright acidity and tannins that are firm but not astringent. Lithe and harmonious.
CE’s rating: 95/100.
Shannon Black 2018
Price: R1 500
Each release exclusively from one of the five clones planted on the property, this from Italian clone MO12. Matured for 22 months in French oak, 50% new. Black berries, subtle notes of olive and herbs plus earth and vanilla. The palate is forceful but equally very well balanced – great structure and plenty of tannic grip, the finish long and dry. A striking wine with huge depth of flavour.
CE’s rating: 96/100.
Check out our South African wine ratings database.
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