Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label

Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir 2012

  • WS93
  • WE93
  • RP92
750ML / 14.09% ABV
Other Vintages
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  • RP90
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750ML / 14.09% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#29 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2014

The low-vigor, stony, clay-rich soil, cool maritime mesoclimate, naturally tiny yields of under 30 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 savory "primal" character along with a dark, spicy, complex primary fruit perfume.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Alluring, with gorgeous toasted spice and cherry confiture aromas, backed by silky red currant, damson plum and cherry fruit flavors. The long spice and iron tinged finish very sauve. Drink now through 2018.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
This opens with attractive earthy aromas of forest floor, cola, vanilla bean and toasted spice, grounded in a core of red currant, cherry and raspberry fruit. The medium-weight mouthfeel is lush and seductive, with fine yet structured tannins that result in a satiny texture. Pure fruit flavors dominate the palate, but the finish is layered with notes of white pepper, tea leaf and woody spice. Approachable now, but will age well through 2020.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Pinot Noir was a season with a long hang time with an above-average size of crop – a season with no ups and downs,’ Hannes Storm explained. It has a perfumed, floral bouquet with wilted rose petals infusing the red cherries, bergamot and fresh strawberry scents. The palate is clean and pixelated on the entry, adorned with a satin-like texture, extremely well-judged acidity and superb poise on the finish. This has gained a little weight over the next 12 months and while I do not think it has the substance for serious long-term aging, it is an absolute charmer at this stage.
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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 – one of the most southerly wine Estates in Africa and one of the closest to the sea – pioneered viticulture and winemaking in the beautiful, cool, maritime Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation, just behind the old fishing village of Hermanus. Tim Hamilton Russell purchased the undeveloped 425-acre property in 1975, after an exhaustive search for the most southerly site on which to make South Africa’s top cool climate wines from a selection of noble varieties. His son, Anthony Hamilton Russell, who took over in 1991 (finally buying the property in 1994), narrowed the range to only Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and registered Hamilton Russell Vineyards as an Estate, committing to work only with grapes from their terroir. Today, Anthony and 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.

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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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ALL6678249_2012 Item# 128100

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