Ashbourne Sauvignon Blanc/Chardonnay 2017
Blend: 79% Sauvignon Blanc, 21% Chardonnay
Ashbourne is a small Pinotage blend and Sauvignon Blanc blend specialist, founded in 1996 by Anthony Hamilton Russell and located on a beautiful 113 hectare property in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley on the eastern border of Hamilton Russell Vineyards.
Ashbourne’s aim is for its two wines - the Ashbourne (maiden vintage 2001) and the Ashbourne Sandstone (maiden vintage 2006) - to belong firmly in the company of the world’s great benchmarks, without in any way replicating them or seeking to taste like them. The wines do not carry the varieties on the front label as it is Anthony’s belief that grape varieties are more a means of expressing the character of the site and soils than the site and soils are for expressing the character of the varieties.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.