Ashton Hills Reserve Pinot Noir 2012 (Adelaide Hills, SA)
14%, Screwcap, $65 CD
No point horsing about, let’s just call this what it is – one of Australia’s best Pinot Noirs. I’ve called previous vintages the best in South Australia, but this 2012 iteration takes it all up a notch. Magnificent. Better still, the price is still still sitting where it has been for the past five years, marking it as reasonable value (in context) to boot.
Produced from a selection of clones on the Ashton Hills vineyard, this typically receives largely new oak (as opposed to older oak for the standard ‘estate’ Pinot Noir) and is always a single vineyard release.
What makes this 2012 so very good is the extra degree of lightness and fragrance – it’s a prettier wine than the 2010, with less alcohol heat and no jam, the profile considerably less ‘dry red’ and more feminine. That femininity makes this an irresistible drink too, giving a juiciness that almost marks it as a simple wine, until you realise that the cherry fruit pinosity and fine tannins linger and linger and linger. There’s perhaps a little alcohol warmth, but not really enough to derail anything, the finish dry and structured but never heavy.
Dear God it’s a beautiful wine.
I found myself unconsciously drinking my sample of this when tasted this afternoon, which is the ultimate sign of something fucking special. I had the good fortune of trying a sample from two different bottles, opened a day apart, and can confirm that both bottles looked equally glorious (more oak richness showing on the fresher bottle, more complexity in the older).
I’m buying some, even though I have random wine in nearly every room of my house. It’s that good.
Score: 19/20 96/100
Would I buy it? I am.