Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Continuing the subtle changes that have occurred under Emul Ross, the Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir is now a worthy stable mate for the estate’s Chardonnay. This shows the acidity of the 2017 vintage, with a fine perfume of wild strawberry and dried mushroom, subtle wood and a dense, complex, savoury finish. 2019-27. Alcohol: 13.3%
Ripe red fruits, balsamic and minty notes, slightly herbal and savory. Juicy, tight structure with firm tannins and good length. A classy wine.
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.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”