Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2018  Front LabelHamilton Russell Chardonnay 2018  Front Bottle Shot

Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2018

  • TA95
  • RP90
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

A tight, minerally wine with classic Hamilton Russell Vineyards length and complexity. Unusually prominent pear and lime fruit aromas and flavours are brought beautifully into focus by a tight line of bright natural acid and a long, dry minerality. An elegant, yet textured and intense wine with a strong personality of both place and vintage

Critical Acclaim

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TA 95
Tim Atkin

The crop was tiny in 2018 - half of the normal yield, according to Emul Ross - but the quality and style of this celebrated Chardonnay is as good as ever. Fermented in amphorae and 29% new oak barrels, with 40% malolactic, it's elegant, savoury and oatmealy. Citrus rather than stone fruit flavours predominate on the palate. 2020-26

RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

The nose of the 2018 Chardonnay is full and rich, with an oaky core and subtle hints of reduction, expressing delicate fruit aromas of yellow apple, pear and lemon curd. The palate is clean, fresh and zippy with a good core of citrus. The finish is clean and crisp, with a soft oak expression that lingers on the medium to long finish. This is a beautiful and classic expression of Chardonnay from the Hemel-En-Aarde Valley, and it's sure to please any Chardonnay lover. 489,080 bottles made.

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Hamilton Russell

Hamilton Russell

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Hamilton Russell, South Africa
Hamilton Russell Hamilton Russell Winery Winery Image

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.

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With an important wine renaissance in full swing, impressive red and white bargains abound in South Africa. The country has a particularly long and rich history with winemaking, especially considering its status as part of the “New World.” In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century.

Today, however, South Africa is increasingly responsible for high-demand, high-quality wines—a blessing to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot. But the Benguela Current from Antarctica provides brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening of grapes. Similarly, cooler, high-elevation vineyard sites throughout South Africa offer similar, favorable growing conditions.

South Africa’s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for red-fruit-driven, spicy, earthy reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following close behind.

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.

RGL0118537SX_2018 Item# 527932

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