One of the most enjoyable winter activities on a wine estate is tasting through the various components of a blend from the barrel, discussing the possibilities, trying them, confirming them and then making up the blend.
As they put together the new blend, the team also tasted the current release which is still ageing in the bottle in the cellar. They found a lovely meaty, savoury nose with black tea, liquorice and dark berry fruit. The palate is long and dense with fine-grained tannins, but without being too big and alcoholic and certainly not “sweet” – more mineral. At only 13.3% alcohol the wine is unusual for a top South African red blend. The 2007 is a blend of Pinotage 82%, Cabernet Sauvignon 9% and Syrah 9%. It will age for many years to come.
The founding mission in 1996 was for Ashbourne to create South African benchmark blends – one red, one white – which belonged in the company of the world’s great benchmarks without in any way replicating them or seeking to taste like them. The wines are simply different to anything else when viewed in entirety, but do have certain stylistic and “philosophical” points of commonality with
If varieties are of importance to the understanding of a wine, Ashbourne is probably best understood as a “Pinotage-plus” while its white wine partner, the Ashbourne Sandstone, is best understood as a “Sauvignon blanc-plus”.
Both 2007’s - the Ashbourne and the Ashbourne Sandstone - are now on the market, but availability is limited contact Talita at firstname.lastname@example.org. The 2008’s will be released in November 2012.
The team is absolutely determined to make the two Ashbourne wines among the most unusual, individual and exceptional wines made in
. South Africa
Source: Hamilton Russell Vineyards