Ashton Hills Piccadilly Valley Pinot Noir 2020 (Adelaide Hills, South Australia) "...cherry, raspberry, spice..."
Ashton Hills has the oldest pinot vineyard in the Adelaide Hills. Stephen George wears two winemakers’ hats … one for his Ashton Hills wines coming from his estate vineyard high in the Adelaide Hills, the other for the iconic Wendouree wines in Clare. He refers to his dry grown Piccadilly Valley vineyard planted back in 1982 as the “Burgundy of the Adelaide Hills”. Stephen is one of Australia’s most highly respected winemaking viticulturalists and a pioneer of Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir. In 1982 he planted his dry-grown 3 hectare vineyard (which he refers to as his garden!) and has experimented much with trellising and planting 21 different pinot clones and settled on the best performing 5 clones. To give you an idea of the attention to detail of this craftsman, sometimes they go through 4 times hand picking the same row to ensure optimum ripeness! The result is sublime pinot noir.. unfortunately in minuscule quantities!
The 2020 Piccadilly Valley Pinot Noir is a blend of fruit from a few of the neighbours as well as a contribution from de-classified Ashton Hills Reserve/Estate parcels. Stephen George has taken great interest in applying his winemaking approach to parcels from elsewhere within the Piccadilly Valley and seeing how the wines compare with those from the Ashton Hills vineyard. The resulting blend benefits from varied fruit character and vineyard expression, while maintaining the fine tannin structure that is typical of the Ashton Hills style.
"Created from estate fruit trickled down from higher-end wines, as well as from a few Valley neighbours. Woody forest notes weave their aromatic feel through the black cherry fruits, a decent portion (40%) of whole bunches showing its stemmy impact. Bright and breezy, with the house style’s even tannins." - 94 Points, Wine Companion
"Vivacious with strong, deliberate variants in cherry flavour and texture – a lively, bossy string quartet in full flight. Acidity drives the back palate to a shrill, high final note that persists. Quite an opus for an immediately approachable and likeable wine.” - 94 Points, Decanter