#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.