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Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir 2009

Pinot Noir from South Africa
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • WE90
13.94% ABV
  • JS93
  • RP91
  • WS93
  • RP92
  • WS92
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3.0 1 Ratings
13.94% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir is a full-bodied, dry red wine. This wine is 100% Pinot Noir, aged in wood barrels.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Cropped at 3.2tons/ha and raised entirely in French oak (45% new) the delectable 2009 Pinot Noir has a lifted bouquet of bright red cherries, red currant and a hint of dried blood. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins and a lovely caressing texture in the mouth, fine tension and poise with crisp red-berried fruits on the shimmering finish.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Lovely black tea, signed apple wood and toasty wood spice notes lead the way, followed by racy black cherry, red currant and blackberry fruit, with a long, mineral-driven finish. This has range and depth, yet stays silky and very elegant.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
A wild animal character and soft gaminess infuses the nose of thie classic South African Pinot, but the red cherry and plum flavors still take center stage on this delicate wine. Hints of forest bark and soft menthol grace the finish, while the soft tannins and balanced acidity carry long into the close.
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Hamilton Russell

Hamilton Russell

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Hamilton Russell, , South Africa
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 his wife Olive, winemaker Emul Ross and viticulturist Johan Montgomery are completely dedicated to expressing the personality of the Hamilton Russell Vineyards terroir in their wines. Tiny yields and intense worldwide demand keep the elegant, highly individual, Estate grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in very short supply.

Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region and also home to whites of equivalent quality but lesser renown. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation—Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Baja—wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Baja produce wines with deep color and high alcohol which mainly serve to add body to a blend. While fresh and fruity Riojas labeled “Joven” undergo minimal aging before release, a hallmark of more serious Rioja wines is the aroma and flavor of new oak—traditionally American, which imparts characteristics of dill, coconut, vanilla, and spice to the wine. Tighter-grained, subtler French oak, however, is becoming increasingly common. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged at least one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two, but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.

Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, providing complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body and alcohol. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés. White wines are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura, which is usually blended with aromatic Malvasia and weighty Garnacha Blanca. White Rioja has traditionally been made in a nutty, oxidative style, though a bright, unoaked version is currently in vogue.

Tempranillo

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

In the Glass

Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.

Sommelier Secret

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

ALL6678246_2009 Item# 111142

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