Ashbourne PINOTAGE

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.

Select Vintage:

Latest vintage available online via Port2Port.

  • Soil Low vigour, stony, clay-rich, shale-derived soil


  • Alcohol 13.50%  Acid 5.80 g/l  pH 3.50  Residual Sugar 2.3 g/l


  • Barrel Ageing 10 months in 400 litre tight grained French oak barrels, 7 months in 2000 litre neutral Foudre


  • Wooding 100% 400 litre French Oak and 2000 litre neutral Foudre


  • Tight Grain 100%


  •  1st fill 40%  2nd fill 40% 3rd fill 20%


  • French Coopers:  Francois Freres


  • Yield 3.11 tons/ha,19.3 hl/ha  Production 224 cases x 12


  • Vegan Friendly


  • Release Date – January 2020
Growing Season

After the early and short 2015 and 2016 harvests, 2018, like 2017 was back to our usual timing, beginning at the end of the first week of February, but (a longer harvest) finishing at the end of the first week of March.  Budding was even and successful, with higher than usual early Spring temperatures, but an unusually wet November and a cool December affected flowering and fruit-set, resulting in particularly low yields – far lower than our already low yields. The berries were smaller and the bunches were lighter, but the resulting wines were deeper, fuller and more structured.  December and January were drier than average, making for relatively easy and successful disease control organically, with February only very slightly wetter than our long term average. A warmer than average February, combined with the very low yields and small berries did however contribute to the riper more opulent style of 2018 compared to 2017.  One of the features of 2018 was fairly variable ripening within individual vineyards, and within individual bunches. Picking on taste, combined with analysis, and picking particular areas within individual vineyards at different times, was particularly important in 2018. This required a high level of vigilance and very close teamwork between cellar and vineyard, both of which were carried out with great success. 2018 was an excellent vintage for us.



  • WWF Conservation Champions

95 Points - Tim Atkin MW

94 Points - Michael Franz

93 Points - Christian Eedes

91 Points - Aleks Zecevic, Wine Spectator

91 Points - Vinous

93 Christian Eedes

"Plum and black cherry, a floral note, dried herbs and some reduction in the background. Slightly more heft and grip to the palate compared to its predecessors although by no means overdone – great fruit definition and bright acidity before a dry finish."

94 Michael Franz, Wine Review Online

"Historically, Pinotage has been a grape pushed into big, brawny wine styles that never really revealed its true potential. And as a result, it has been unfairly maligned. But in recent years, more and more producers have moved to let this grape express its true self in the glass. Tasting from a range of selections, Pinotage can show a great deal of versatility, depending on whether it's grown in warmer or cooler environments. This Ashbourne Pinotage is a lighter Pinot Noir-like offering from the cooler climate of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. This delightful wine offers aromas of ripe strawberry, red florals, and ash and boasts complexity and elegant structure."

91 Aleks Zecevic, Wine Spectator

"Vibrant version that combines elegance with just the right amount of power. Opens up with mint before the palate turns to show Damson plum, black currant, violet, vanilla and tangy mineral, which adds interest. Long, elegant finish."

91 Neal Martin, Vinous, November 2021

"The 2018 Pinotage has a pure, sensual bouquet of dark cherries, raspberry coulis and violet aromas that are beautifully defined and integrated with the oak. The palate is medium bodied with supple tannins, a velvety-smooth, gentle grip, and a touch of pencil lead toward the finish. A lovely, seductive Pinotage from Anthony and Olive Hamilton Russell."