Halliday’s Shiraz of the Year is one of the most highly contested awards in Australia. With Shiraz being the most planted red variety in Australia, the competition was fierce. Over 1,500 Shiraz wines were submitted. To win, the wine needed to achieve a high score, and then be chosen after a rigorous debate among the tasting team.
Murdoch Hill’s Chief Winemaker, Michael Downer, who was also a finalist for Winemaker of the Year said:
“Thank you to the Halliday tasting team for selecting our Murdoch Hill 2021 Landau as Shiraz of the Year. With so many incredible wines in contention, to be chosen is a dream. Our family is thrilled and honoured.
“This is the tenth release of Landau Syrah. Since its first vintage in 2012 we have evolved our viticulture and winemaking to the point that we were comfortable to put ourselves up against the best Shiraz in the country.
I knew the 2021 Landau Syrah was going to be exceptional from the moment we picked the fruit. The 2021 growing season delivered near perfect conditions and the grapes ripened beautifully. All it needed was gentle handling in the winery to produce an elegant yet complex Syrah with spicy aromas and a silken texture,” adds Michael.
Scoring 99 out of 100 points, the 2021 Landau Syrah is a single vineyard wine made exclusively from Shiraz grapes grown on Murdoch Hill’s own 25 year-old vineyard in Oakbank in the Adelaide Hills. Within that vineyard, Michael Downer selects fruit from rows on the top ridge where the leaner soils result in exceptional quality Syrah. The Landau Syrah 2021 displays superb cool climate Shiraz character with a medium-bodied palate, bright red fruits with complex aromas of spice and cloves, a fine structure, and silky textured tannins.
Master of Wine, Ned Goodwin MW who tasted the Adelaide Hills wines for the 2024 Halliday Wine Companion said, “This is one of the finest Australian shiraz/syrah I have come across in a long time. So finely tuned, aromatic and fresh it makes my head spin…. Clearly fruit comes off a site as beautiful as the hands that crafted this wine.”
Importantly, this is the first time an Adelaide Hills wine has been awarded Shiraz of the Year since the varietal awards began in 2015. At 99 points, it is also the highest score any Adelaide Hills wine has ever been rated in Wine Companion.
Michael Downer says, “It is exciting that the Adelaide Hills wine region has been recognised for its ability to produce the best Shiraz in Australia. Shiraz grown in a cool climate is different from the blockbuster styles for which Australia is renowned. This is why we call it ‘Syrah’. It is a more elegant, pulled-back, spice-driven style with a delicate tension between fruit, tannin, savouriness and minerality. People are just discovering this. We are in the grip of an exciting new era for cool climate Shiraz.”