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Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir 2009

Pinot Noir from South Africa
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • WE90
13.94% ABV
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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

All Vintages
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
2009 Pinot Noir
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.

South Africa

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An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance, South Africa has a surprisingly long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. 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, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping 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 the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

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 earthy, gamey 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 behind.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

ALL6678246_2009 Item# 111142

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