Founded in 1996 by Anthony Hamilton Russell, Ashbourne is located on a beautiful 64-hectare property in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley on the eastern border of Hamilton Russell Vineyards. The property is named after Anthony’s great-great-grandfather Lord Ashbourne who was Lord Chancellor of Ireland in the late 1800s.
"Ashbourne began as a quest to make something extraordinary out of Pinotage in ancient, unusually clay-rich, shale-derived soils. It remains our goal to grow and make unusual, age-worthy, classically styled wines with a true South African personality, that belong in the company of the world's benchmarks."
— Anthony Hamilton Russell
After the early and short 2015 and 2016 harvests, 2018, like 2017 was back to our usual timing, beginning at the end of the first week of February, but with a longer harvest, finishing at the end of the first week of March. Budding was even and successful, with higher-than-usual early Spring temperatures, but an unusually wet November and a cool December affected flowering and fruit-set, resulting in particularly low yields — far lower than our already low yields. The berries were smaller and the bunches were lighter, but the resulting wines were deeper, fuller and more structured. December and January were drier than average, making for relatively easy and successful disease control organically, with February only very slightly wetter than our long-term average. A warmer than average February, combined with the very low yields and small berries, did however contribute to the riper more opulent style of 2018 compared to 2017. One of the features of 2018 was fairly variable ripening within individual vineyards, and within individual bunches. Picking on taste, combined with analysis, and picking particular areas within individual vineyards at different times, was particularly important in 2018. This required a high level of vigilance and very close teamwork between cellar and vineyard, both of which were carried out with great success. 2018 was an excellent vintage for us.
Notes and Reviews
Fresh, vibrant, perfumed Sauvignon blanc, filled out and enriched with a carefully judged unwooded Chardonnay component, make this a beautifully balanced and highly versatile wine. More than two decades of family experience have gone into this unique blend.
|Grape Varieties||Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay|
|Age of Vines||22 years old|
|Vinification||Hand picked, pressed to tank. Cold settling overnight then fermentation in stainless-steel tanks.|
|Elevage||4 months on lees in stainless steel tanks|
|Soil Type||Low-vigour, stony, clay-rich, shale-derived soil|