Ashton Hills Piccadilly Pinot Noir 2020


Stephen George made Ashton Hills one of the great producers of Pinot Noir in Australia” ***** Outstanding Winery, James Halliday 2020 Australian Wine Companion

“… I’ve said it many times: Ashton Hills is the pre-eminent maker of high-quality pinot noir in South Australia.” Nick Stock ,

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.

The nose shows lifted fresh red and black fruits, layered with autumnal notes and spice from some whole bunch fermentation. Juicy and red fruited, with a plush and supple palate. There is a hint of spice and fresh herbs from the whole bunch component and the mouthwatering natural acidity and fine tannins result in a textural and long lasting finish.

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For this wine, winemaker Stephen George has always been happy to venture outside his own Estate’s boundaries and explore other sites in the Piccadilly Valley. The fruit is predominantly sourced from Jim Grigg’s Cemetery Block at Uraidla, blended with AshtonHills Estate fruit and some other parcels from nearby sites — principally the Whisson Lake and Deanery Vineyards. George believes 2019 provided him with the finest set of source vineyards he’s had the luxury of working with yet.

All of the grapes were hand-picked, keeping individual parcels separate in small open fermenters, with some whole-bunch additions for enhanced aromatics and structure. All ferments were with indigenous yeasts. Each parcel was basket-pressed and went to seasoned French oak barrels with full solids. Just prior to bottling, the wines were racked and blended. Only a small amount of sulfur was employed.

The result is a quintessential Piccadilly Pinot with lifted sweet berry, rhubarb and menthol aromatics that unfurl to release some Campari-like tones. On the palate, there’s lovely restraint, with medium-bodied fruit throwing all of the same characters found on the nose along with some exotic spice, that bitters note, and a vein of sappy, eucalyptus-like undergrowth complexity that lingers on the finish. There are also plenty of fine, wispy tannins. In general there is a fine tension and freshness here, and more restraint and savory structure than we’ve noted in this wine previously. A terrific release from Ashton Hills and again, outstanding value.

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