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Ashbourne Sandstone 2008



According to influential US magazine Wine Spectator, the 2008 vintage of white blend Sandstone under Anthony Hamilton Russell’s Ashbourne label is one of the top 100 wines of 2013 with a score of 93/100.

At the launch of the Cape Vintner Classification association yesterday, a chance to taste this wine was afforded. A blend of 77% Sauvignon Blanc, the rest Chardonnay and Semillon, I was left largely unmoved. Lime and lemon plus a definite herbal edge. Lean and fresh with a saline finish. In its favour, pure fruited and still very primary but hardly the best white blend in the country. R150 a bottle.

Score: 88/100.


  1. The problem with Wine Spectator is that they taste what is sent to them- which, quite frankly, is why I disregard their opinions on South African wine in favour of my own palate. We have far better & far more exciting wines than this.

  2. I haven’t tasted the 2008, but I’ve generally been pretty impressed with the earlier Sandstones. I find them to be unusual and age-worthy, with a genuine European feel (blackcurrants, low alcohol, but solid structure and long aftertaste) and they drink like a dream. But, like I said, I can’t speak for the 2008.

    • The 2007 (which interestingly enough did not contain any Semillon) has for me been the most convincing iteration of this wine to date. The 2008 reminds me of the 2006 in lacking dimension.


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