Philip White (InDaily)
“…From the first waft, this is almost disgusting in its visceral sensuality. This is the sensation most of the most-obsessed Pinot perves dream of, but rarely get to feel. There’s just a cheeky tickle of the spice of old French oak, but mainly this bouquet is silk-smooth, musky, fresh-washed flesh. It is not what mortal humans expect of grapes … To drink, it’s so bare-faced matter-of-fact that you might just as well undress. You don’t want food. You’ll want another bottle. Don’t fall in the glass.”
(The Wine Front)
"Made with both estate and non-estate fruit by Stephen George and Paul Smith. Right in the groove. Powerful pinot noir with some warmth, lots of spice, ample varietal character and lots of charm. Anise, florals, sweet red cherry, rosewater and flings of dry spice. Aforementioned warmth is the only real issue. In all other respects it’s a delight to drink."
(Wine Companion Magazine)
"Primarily estate-grown, complemented by small parcels from a few Piccadilly Valley growers, matured for 12 months in used French oak. Shows the benefit of the cool, dry vintage with its array of forest fruits and finely crafted tannins, oak largely a bystander. It’s not a powerful pinot, but its very precise, and the balance is impeccable."
(James Halliday Magazine)
"Only 130 dozen made from the small estate holding. The wonderful intensity and depth gives every reason to drink some now, and the rest with spectacular complexity when 10-plus years old. Exceptional riesling."
(The Wine Front)
"Stephen George/Ashton Hills used to grow and produce chardonnay but, other than riesling, the estate is now a dedicated pinot noir site. As it should be. That said, a chardonnay does of course sit comfortably and naturally within the ‘portfolio’ and so new-ish owners Wirra Wirra sourced some chardonnay from the Chapel Valley block adjacent to the old cemetery, in the Piccadilly Valley, fermented it wild, popped it into French oak and voila. 100 dozen made. More or less cellar door only. It’s a delightful expression of both the variety and of the valley. It has flesh, it has flavour, it has a kick to the finish. And yet it remains elegant. Grapefruit notes, slightly tart, mix with nectarine, lime and peach. A spicy, flinty character spins it all together. It’s needs another couple of years in bottle to really show its best. But it has class written all over it."
Philip White (InDaily)
“…this is a mellow and pacifying Chardonnay to sniff, all musky melons, buttery, creamy pears and mace. It lived in new and old Burgundy barrels for eight months before assemblage; a judicious, unobtrusive oak interaction which has added subtle, perfectly appropriate spices… The texture and flavours are precisely what the smooth tropical fruits in that bouquet signalled: the modest viscosity and clean, fresh, jungle juice all adds up to a very sensible, utterly satisfying, predictably comforting glass of everything’s gonna be all right now, especially with a rare snapper steak and capers or a gentle yellow carp curry with silver service on a good starched linen table cloth…"
"A small run as this is reintroduced to the range. Nice and bright nectarines, spicy oak and discreet, smoky complexity. A succulent palate with grapefruit citrus and good acid. A smooth, punchy and bright dry style. Grilled hazelnut nougat, too. Screw cap. Drink now."
(The Advertiser, Top 100 List)
"Better known for its pinot noir, Ashton Hills, now under the auspices of Wirra Wirra, has tapped into the Piccadilly Valley’s other fine grape asset here, specifically from a small vineyard mid-valley and delicately rendered via wild yeast ferment and eight months in old and new French barrels to define a purity and precise balance between subtle acidity and oak creaminess. Flavourwise there’s apple yeast bun and white nectarine, typical of the region — a real treat. It’s in tiny volume so visit the cellar door. Best with: White cheeses."
Adelaide Hills Wine Show
The Hills’ pinot noir master, Stephen George, is still tending his small acreage and creating three levels of wine - although now owned by Wirra Wirra. This highest tier is nothing less than magical, with totally engaging concentration and intensity of pinot characters, a mesh of sappiness, cherry flavours, peppery as well as more exotic spices. It defines what might be determined as elegant richness in a pinot noir, even-keeled, balanced, and ultimately delicious.
The nose is brooding here with spicier, darker fruit in the form of riper strawberries, along with a delicious savoriness and minerality. Full body, fine tannins, plenty of fruit flesh and a long, expansive finish. Drink in 2018.
Parcels of all five clones grown on the estate passed the strict selection process, the wine matured in French oak (33% new). The bouquet is very fragrant and no less complex with its exploration of wild strawberries picked before full ripeness, the full box of exotic spices, and fine but unrelenting tannins. Not an easy vintage for pinot noir, but this is seriously good.