The 2017 vintage of Chardonnay from Hemel-en-Aarde Valley property Hamilton Russell Vineyards seems exceptionally light. Matured for nine months in 90% 228-litre French oak barrels (31% new) plus 4% foudre, 1% ceramic egg and 5% stainless steel tank, the nose shows lime plus a slight nuttiness while the palate is lean with a somewhat hard acidity and a pithy finish (alcohol: 13.16%). A little more fleshiness on the mid-palate would make this less severe to drink. Approximate retail price: R450 a bottle.
Editor’s rating: 89/100.
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