Accolades

Gold Medal 2017
Adelaide Hills Wine Show

92/100
Nick Stock (JamesSuckling.com)

"The nose here is characterized by boysenberries, fresh raspberries and rose petals. Medium to full body, fluid yet sturdy tannins, good acidity and a fresh finish. A nice Chinese herbal streak to this. Holds long. Drink now."

92/100
James Halliday (2019 Australian Wine Companion)

"A blend of four estate-grown clones, matured in new and used French oak. The colour shows distinct development, the palate likewise. But it's a true manifestation of pinot noir a la Ashton Hills with its mix of spicy/savoury fruit and fine-spun tannins."

94/100
Tina Gellie (Decanter Magazine)

"Not for nothing are his Pinots known as the 'Burgundies of the Adelaide Hills': this wine, from four clones, is basket pressed and wild-yeast fermented before spending time in 20% new oak barrels and neutral hogsheads. It has amazing purity of rich fruit, showing aromas and flavours of ripe cherry and strawberry, exotic spices and autumn leaves. It's savoury and silky with firm structure and bright acidity. Superb!"

Source

93/100
Campbell Mattinson (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."

Source

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…"

Source

91/100
Nick Stock (JamesSuckling.com)

"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."

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.”

Source

91/100
Campbell Mattinson (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.

Source

91/100
James Halliday (2017 Australian Wine Companion)

“The coolest, wettest and most humid site in the Adelaide Hills lends itself well to blanc de noirs production in the coolest and wettest vintage in recent history. The result is spicy and fleshy, with red cherry, strawberry and fig fruit becoming softly toasty, thanks to fermentation and age in old barriques, followed by 3 years on yeast lees. A long and even close is neatly finished with a light dosage of 6g/l.”

96/100
Huon Hooke (HuonHooke.com)

“Very pale salmon or taché colour. Smoky, complex bouquet, with some aldehydes and traces of oak. Soft and dry yet rich on the palate. Fine, refreshing, clean and firm. Lovely balance and superb mouthfeel. An excellent wine. (100% made in old hogsheads. No malolactic fermentation. 24 months on lees.)”

96/100
(Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine)

“With a very pale salmon colour, this has a complex smoky bouquet with traces of oak and aldehyde. The palate is rich yet dry and refreshingly clean with a pleasingly firm aftertaste. Made 100 per cent in barrel, which contributes to its superb mouthfeel.”

16.5/20
Richard Hemming MW (JancisRobinson.com)

“Lovely salty nose with a light palate, and dry, very savoury fruit on the finish. Fairly simple flavour profile but very gluggable.”

93/100
Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)

"Sparkling shiraz grown on 1919 plantings at Wendouree. Or at least a large-ish part of the wine comes off these vines. It was aged in old oak for four years before being re-fermented in bottle. It was disgorged last August. It’s a particularly elegant version of a sparkling red. It has aged characters but it also seems startlingly fresh. These factors make for an alarmingly quaffable wine; a few glasses just seem to disappear before you know it. Redcurrant, boysenberry, plum, leather and mint. Perhaps a whisper of game. Some tannin too; it certainly feels like there’s good scaffolding here, within a juicy context. It’s fresh, lively and absolutely delicious."

93/100
Huon Hooke (HuonHooke.com)

"Medium to full ruby red colour with brick tinges. The bouquet is mellow, earthy and complex, showing good aged development, while the palate is rich and deep, with good concentration and irresistible matured-berry flavours, heightened by peppermint and raspberry touches. The finish is softened by generous liqueur sweetness and it has a balanced, satisfying aftertaste."

94/100
James Halliday (2019 Australian Wine Companion)

"50% of the base wine came from Wendouree's 1919 block. It was oak-aged for 4 years before taken to bottle for its second fermentation, spending almost 3 years on lees. The question of dosage is very difficult with sparkling shiraz, needed to balance the tannins - this is a very good wine, but I wonder whether the dosage could have been a little lower."

96/100
Tyson Stelzer (Tyson Stelzer’s Australian Sparkling Report 2018 )

"Half sourced from dry grown shiraz of 1919 plantings at Wendouree; aged in old oak for 4 years then refermented in bottle; disgorged August 2016. This is a sparkling red deeply entrenched in history and it articulates every intricate detail in its aroma, flavour and texture. The savoury, medium-bodied complexity of 1919 Wendouree shiraz coasts effortlessly through a palate that captures the black plum and black cherry succulence of the grand 2010 harvest and overlays it with the savoury black olive and mixed spice personality of Wendouree, backed with high cocoa dark chocolate, heightened by four years of barrel age. The structure is a marvel, with ultrafine tannins and chalk minerality of ancient Clare limestone terroir uniting seamlessly on a palate that hovers unwavering for thirty seconds and beyond. It’s unashamedly medium-bodied and unequivocally irresistible."

Source

92/100
James Halliday (2017 Australian Wine Companion)

“Stephen George has released his Salmon Brut with no added sugar, and it’s a fascinating lesson in the influence of dosage. Its absence here accents savoury cherry kernel nuances and the firm, structural presence of tannins on the finish. I like the way the zero dosage style captures the raw, authentic personality of pinot noir (100%) in the cool ‘11 season, retaining impressive integrity and focus. Disgorged Sept ‘14.”

17/20
Richard Hemming MW (JancisRobinson.com)

“Pale salmon, gorgeous light raspberry fruit. Creamy, dry, restrained. The austere savoury finish is countered by lovely purity of fruit - proper Pinot Noir character.”

4.5/5
Tony Love (Taste Magazine)

Stephen George’s pinot sparkling hit has long been the popular Salmon Brut. This is the very same wine, made in the traditional method with a minimum of five years in the bottle on its spent yeast lees, but without the usual final adjustment of a “sweetening liqueur” dosage. The results is a stunningly beautiful aromatic lift to start with, a high-toned pinot rose fragrance, followed by engaging flavour depth, spicy tendrils through the palate, and a long and keen aperitif edge. Superb.

95/100
Huon Hooke (HuonHooke.com)

“Medium to light pink hue and an ultra-complex smoky, strawberry aroma, very appealing and charming. Nutty oak nuances. Full-bodied and rich, concentrated, powerful and very, very long. Big, rich flavour, the dosage beautifully judged leading to wonderful drinkability. (100% made in old hogsheads. No malolactic fermentation. 24 months on lees.)”

95/100
(Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine)

“The bouquet has very complex smoky, toasty and strawberry aromas with a little oak nuttiness. It’s full-bodied, rich, powerful and tremendously long. Concentrated and very pinoty. Precise. balanced and very drinkable.”

16.5/20
Richard Hemming MW (JancisRobinson.com)

“Pale pink. Juicy redcurrant fruit. Riper and more fruity than their dry styles, and more user friendly as a result.”

Gold Medal 2017
Adelaide Hills Wine Show

5/5
Tony Love (Taste Magazine)

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.

93/100
Nick Stock (JamesSuckling.com)

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.

96/100
James Halliday (Halliday Magazine)

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.