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Date Printed: 9/30/2014
Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir 2007
Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir 2007
(search item no. 98818)
Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 9/30/2014: $44.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#52 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2009

A particularly good winter chill ensured more even bud-break than usual and apart from a couple of strong winds in November, wind speeds were lower than average and conditions at flowering excellent. Humidity was higher than usual in January requiring vigilance to ward off disease. While January was warmer than average – contributing to a harvest one week earlier than normal, February and March were cooler than usual. Overall 2007 was a cool year versus our long-term average. Ripening was particularly even and fruit quality excellent.

Not just a Pinot noir, but a classic, origin expressive wine, Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot noir is different to most New World Pinot noirs. Our low-vigour, stony, clay-rich soil, cool maritime mesoclimate, naturally tiny yields of around 35 hl/ha and our philosophy of expressing our terroir in our wines – give rise to a certain tightness, tannin line and elevated length to balance the richness and generosity of our Pinot noir. Our Pinot noir is not overtly fruity, soft and "sweet" and it generally shows hints of that alluring "primal" character along with a dark, spicy, complex fruit perfume. For this reason, many knowledgeable enthusiasts around the world regard Hamilton Russell Vineyards as the best "Pinot noir" in South Africa and one of the best in the New World.

My Notes:

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About Hamilton Russell:

Hamilton Russell Vineyards is one of the most southerly wine estates in Africa. The estate specializes in producing highly individual, terroir-driven Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Founder, Tim Hamilton Russell purchased the undeveloped 170 hectare property in 1975. His son, Anthony, purchasing property in 1994, focused their efforts on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay only and registered Hamilton Russell Vineyards as an estate, committing to work only with grapes from their terroir. Extensive soil research initiated in 1994 identified 52 hectares of stony, clay-rich, shale-derived soil as optimal for their signature style and all plantings have now been limited to this soil type. Anthony, with winemaker Hannes Storm and viticulturist Johan Montgomery, are completely dedicated to expressing the personality of the Hamilton Russell Vineyards terroir in their wines.