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2018 Ashton Hills Chardonnay Piccadilly Valley

2018 Ashton Hills Chardonnay Piccadilly Valley

$32.99 Per Bottle

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$32.99 (Buy 6 or More)

11.0%
Piccadilly Valley
2018
750ml
+
BOTTLE(S)
In Stock, ready for dispatch.More info
$32.99
11.0%
Piccadilly Valley
2018
750ml
  • THE BRIEF
  • THE FINER DETAILS
  • WHO MADE IT?
  • EXPERT REVIEWS
  • THE BRIEF
  • When Stephen George first planted his three-hectare Ashton Hills vineyard in the early 1980's, 12 different varieties went into the ground. Years of trials led to the removal of most of these vine types and today only Pinot Noir and Riesling remain.

    This Chardonnay is therefore not off the Estate vines, although the source block isn't far away. This limited-release comes from a small parcel of fruit from the Chapel Valley block, adjacent the old Piccadilly cemetery, just a short hike down the road.

  • THE FINER DETAILS
  • Handpicked and whole bunch pressed direct to puncheon and barrique (with maximum solids), George wild ferments the juice and all barrels are kept on lees to build texture and complexity. The malo is spontaneous (40% complete this year) and there was partial battonage prior to bottling without filtration.

    WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT?


    It's a deep yet chiseled release with plenty of white orchard fruit and grilled nutty overtones, all neatly hemmed in by Piccadilly's nervy, pristine, powdery brightness. Just a twist of reduction adding to the complexity and freshness. An outstanding release.

  • WHO MADE IT?
  • Stephen George’s three hectare, dry-grown, Ashton Hills vineyard lies in the Piccadilly Valley sub region of the Adelaide Hills on a ridge just below the summit of Mount Lofty. Planted in 1982, it’s a quality site that, thanks to the humility and integrity of its gifted farmer, has been the source of some of South Australia’s most intriguing cool-climate wines, and certainly its most authentic and fascinating Pinot Noir.

    You don’t need to spend much time in the Piccadilly Valley to realise why this area was granted sub-regional status—it is totally different to the rest of the Hills. In short, it’s much colder and wetter. George’s Estate vineyard lies at 570 metres above sea level and the vines shudder through some of the coolest vintage conditions in the country. Meanwhile, rainfall is a whopping 1200mm a year, well over double that of the Barossa. Whether it’s the lifted perfumes, elegant structure and Alpine freshness of the Pinot Noirs or the icy purity of the Riesling, Piccadilly Valley’s bona-fide cool-climate imprint is never far away. A healthy portion of old-vines and the vineyard’s south-facing aspect afford George the luxury of late harvesting that plays a significant role in the personality of these wines.

    Terroir is one thing, how it’s worked is another, and Stephen George clearly has an intuitive touch and the drive to continually evolve. Most recently this evolution has resulted in George grubbing out all varieties except for Pinot Noir, and a little bit of Riesling, focusing his Pinot Noir on four specific clones selected from a line-up of 25 that he had tested.

    The Ashton Hills winery is incredibly basic, with an earth floor and next to no equipment whatsoever. The Pinot fruit is destemmed via a small, customised, gentle destemmer that keeps as many whole berries as possible. The fruit is then basket pressed, and the wine is made without any sulphur additions until bottling. Some whole bunches are included, and the percentage varies according to the style of the vintage. The red wines are mostly raised in aged, neutral French hogshead barrels.

    Having already cemented his living-legend status amongst his peers and compiled a storied CV that includes his role at Wendouree (since the 1980s) and twenty five vintages at the helm of Ashton Hills, you could forgive this reclusive winemaker for taking his foot off the gas. Not a bit of it. Stephen George is in fact making the best wines of his career.

  • EXPERT REVIEWS
  • 96 POINTS

    JAMES SUCKLING


    Wow. This is driven and electric on the palate. So much intense cooked-apple, lime, cream and praline character on the palate. Full body. Goes on for minutes. Love this one. Drink now. Screw cap.

    95 POINTS

    JAMES HALLIDAY - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION


    200 dozen bottles made from a small vineyard, wild-fermented, matured in new and used oak for 9 months. Complex, a well made marriage of creamy biscuity notes on the one hand, soaring citrussy acidity on the other.

    93 POINTS

    MIKE BENNIE - THE WINE FRONT


    I often forget Ashton Hills chardonnay. I might be on record already saying that. Whoops. This is nice drinking. It sits in that easy, clean and crisp nature of chardonnay that seems to suit all comers. Mostly showing just ripe stone fruit, faintest nougat characters, a squeeze of sweeter citrus characters, it slips nicely along the palate with just enough flavour, just enough freshness. It dials in chardonnay well.

    93 POINTS

    HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW


    Light, bright yellow colour with clean, fresh, creamy, nectarine and grapefruit, fruit-driven aromas. Slight nuttiness from oak. There's richness and a touch of grip, and the bright acidity keeps the balance. It finishes with a slight grip, but there's more than enough grapefruity flavour to balance. It will fill out and mellow over the coming year. Delicious.