The recent emergence of Tapanappa has certainly given Ashton Hills some serious competition in the South Australian pinot noir stakes, however, if there's one thing Stephen George's label has that Brian Croser's doesn't, it's a back catalogue full of mature wines. Ashton Hills' best wine is the Reserve Pinot Noir, and I'd like to graciously thank Stephen for the bottles of his 2004.
Very wild, funky and developed; its ultra-complex yet fresh, multi-faceted and spearmint driven bouquet of gumleaf, creamed strawberries and caramel also reveals an earthy/leathery expression of cherry fruits and cinnamon. Its aromatic lift just screams; 'touch me'. It's supple, with a mildly juicy, medium-bodied and sappy presence of earth and dry red cherry flavours marked by a lithe outline of soft acids, which are complemented by a gentle, sensual tannic structure that leaves the mouth in a well mannered fashion indicative of high etiquette. The wine travels long down the palate with a wonderfully even persistence of perfectly pitched, complex, texture driven mature pinot character, before climaxing in a very precise, savoury and attractive manner with just a touch of bite.
ü+ Stunning. Ashton Hills' 2004 Reserve is an overwhelmingly seductive South Australian pinot noir, which is all about perfume and touch. You could hold onto it for another few years but I wouldn't bother; it's drinking so well right now. Just sit, saviour and enjoy. Drink to 2011.