Venerable Ashton Hills, established by Stephen George in 1982 in the Piccadilly Valley sub-region of the Adelaide Hills in South Australia, is deservedly considered one of the best of region. Along with Brian Croser, Stephen has very much put Adelaide Hills on the map, and in particular the Piccadilly Valley.
Perched high on the slopes of Mount Lofty, the Reserve and Estate wines from Ashton Hills are highly sought after and much acclaimed for their typicity of region and variety plus finesse. There is also a very serious Sparkling Shiraz, with fruit sourced from none other than the Birk’s at Wendouree in South Australia’s Clare Valley. But how do more entry level Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from 2020 rate along with the vintage sparkling Rosé, remembering these wines are still single sub-regional wines from distinguished varieties even if not entirely estate or reserve wines?
Ashton Hills ‘Piccadilly Valley Pinot Noir’ Sparkling Rosé 2017
91 Points – $40
Super fine texture and mousse, the flavour delivered here is pure and fine. Fresh wild raspberries and strawberries, juicy and fresh red apples are finely complimented by brilliant mouth-watering acidity, well-balanced dosage or sweetness and light biscuity flavours from the disgorgement.
Ashton Hills ‘Piccadilly Valley’ Chardonnay 2020
91 Points – $40
A fresh and very modern style of Australian Chardonnay that is anything but the ‘blousy oak driven heroic’ styles of yester-year. This super fine, elegant and flinty wine is bristling with acidity with flavours of just ripe yellow apples, just ripe white nectarines and grapefruit. A very subtle almond and macadamia nut character provides complexity and combined with some light oak influences including a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg provides structure complimenting the elevated acidity of wines from this part of the world.
2020 Ashton Hills ‘Piccadilly Valley’ Pinot Noir
90 Points – $40
A pale almost transparent cranberry hue does not disguise the hidden power here. The wine is wonderfully fragrant with roses and apple blossoms but also with a kaleidoscope of fresh red fruits; raspberries, cranberries, wild strawberries. The perfume and light impact of oak spice like cardamon and clove offer complexity and interest. The flavour delivery across the palate is fresh and lively even if a touch warm, nonetheless delicious and enticing.