Named after Anthony Hamilton Russell’s great, great grandfather, Lord Ashbourne, who was Lord Chancellor for Ireland in the late 1800’s, Ashbourne is now a 100% Pinotage sourced from a beautiful 113 hectare property in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley on the eastern border of Hamilton Russell Vineyards.
This Pinotage has been 100% barrel matured for 10 months in 400 litre barrels and 4.5 months in 2000 litre barrels and has undergone 100% malolatic fermentation. The 2015 was an extraordinary vintage – it started a full 2 weeks early and finished over a period of 4 weeks (February 20th) instead of the customary 7 weeks. The grapes were extremely healthy with thick skins and an unusually low juice content and the resulting wines are fuller and more sumptuous and concentrated than the 2013’s and 2014’s. Full ripeness was achieved surprisingly quickly despite slightly cooler temperatures between December and March. This makes 2015 cooler than the celebrated 2013, 2012 and 2009. A much drier and slightly warmer spring than usual, in part accounts for the early harvest, combined with a drier and slightly warmer than average January. 2015 was the first organic harvest (with some biodynamic features) for Ashbourne with great results.
From the maiden release in 2001, this benchmark wine has redefined South Africa’s own red grape variety, Pinotage, with its classic, refined styling and unique complex character. This is a wine unlike anything else, intense, rich and savoury with a beautiful underlying minerality.