This classically styled Pinot eases onto the palate with poise and grace, revealing layers of flavours - cooked red berries, leather, truffles, tobacco - all bound together by restrained, supportive oak. A crunchy and lengthy finish.
Hamilton Russell Vineyards are located within the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation within the Walker Bay wine district in a 170 hectare property.
In a nutshell: Founded in 1975, Hamilton Russell is a 2nd generation family business, currently overseen by Anthony and Olive Hamilton-Russell, who are pioneers of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and quality South African Pinot Noir. The wines are, uniquely for South Africa, are focused on a single estate grown Pinot Noir and a single estate grown Chardonnay with no reserves and no second labels. Both their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are regarded as New World icons with an uncannily Old World style. They are particularly successful in fine gastronomy and are listed by numerous Michelin star restaurants around the world. Famously the wines produced from the estate are known to bear a remarkable similarity to the very best Burgundy Grand Cru wines stylistically.
The 20 parcels of Chardonnay wines are all vinified separately, and blended for consistency of aesthetic, whilst also maintaining the character of the vintage.
The Pinot Noir plots give Burgundian subtlety, texture and length which is down to the identification of the shale and gravel soils on which the wines are now grown.
This year, 2020, marks their 40th vintage. The terroir: With a maritime climate overall, the wines are the most beautiful possible expressions of this special piece of ground unusually close to the cold South Atlantic. Extensive soil research was initiated in 1994, which identified 52 hectares of stony, clay-rich, shale-derived soil as optimal for the individual, origin expressive style they aim for. The soils are comparable with the Côte de Nuits in Burgundy. In recent years, they have focussed heavily on replanting, replacing older vines and forward planning to pre-emptively combat the effects of climate change.