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Country of Origin & Region


South Africa, Hemel-En Aarde Valley


Ashbourne Pinotage 2015

Ashbourne Pinotage 2015 - 450 six packs produced

Awards, Reviews and other Notes

92 Pts Wine Advocate - April 2017
The 2015 Ashbourne comes from a single vineyard planted in 1996 at a high density and matured in 400-liter barrels and foudres. It has a potent bouquet with quite a strong medicinal scent percolating through the dense black fruit, the new oak neatly integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin. I appreciate the backbone and focus here, slightly grainy in texture with cloves and sage towards the complex finish.
90 pts James Suckling June 2018
A very floral and fresh wine with sliced-cherry and strawberry character on the nose. Medium body, light tannins, and a crisp finish. Linear and cool. Drink now.
91 pts Vinous/Neil Martin Aug 2018
The 2015 Ashbourne Pinotage was the first vintage not blended other varieties. It was 40% matured in 400-liter first-fill barrels with some use of foudres to reduce the wood influence. It has a fragrant bouquet of dark cherries, black currant, mint and subtle sage aromas that gather momentum in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red berry fruit, a fine bead of acidity, gentle grip and a lovely white pepper and fennel note toward the finish. Excellent.

Winemaker Notes

From the maiden release in 2001, this benchmark wine has redefined South Africa’s own red grape variety, Pinotage, with its classic, refined styling and unique complex character. This is a wine unlike anything else, intense, rich and savoury with a beautiful underlying minerality.
The 2015 was an extraordinary vintage – unlike anything we have experienced before. It started a full 2 weeks early and finished over a period of 4 weeks (on February 20th) instead of our customary 7 weeks. The grapes were extremely healthy with thick skins and an unusually low juice content and the resulting wines are fuller and more sumptuous and concentrated than the 2013’s and 2014’s. Full ripeness was achieved surprisingly quickly and this happened despite the average maximum temperatures for the crucial months of Dec, Jan, Feb and Mar being lower at 24.95 Centigrade than our long term average of 25 Centigrade. This makes 2015 cooler than the celebrated 2013, 2012 and 2009. Another previously unexperienced feature of 2015 was the very high yeast conversion rates of grape sugars to alcohol. This was an industry wide feature and 2015’s, to be phenolically ripe, needed higher alcohol levels. A much drier and slightly warmer Spring than usual, in part accounts for the early harvest, combined with a drier and slightly warmer than average January. The harvest period had just over half of the average rainfall for the period. Greater sunlight intensity in the build-up to harvest also sped things up. 2015 was the first organic harvest (with some biodynamic features) for us and we have been thrilled with the results in our wines. We simply feel much better about what we do and we have been brought even closer to our all important vineyards. A logistically challenging but excellent vintage.

Chemical Analysis




14% alcohol by volume




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Southern Hemisphere Wine Center
5973 Engineer Dr.
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
(800) 504-9463