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Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir 2013


The one good thing about local Pinot Noir is that it’s in a state of flux which must inevitably lead to overall improvement. Category leaders of yesteryear like Hamilton Russell Vineyards haven’t had it all their own way for a while now which necessitates them upping their game or fading into obscurity. What of the current release 2013?

Matured for 10 months in French oak (39% new, 37% second-fill and 24% third-fill), the wine shows red and black cherries plus some floral perfume. It’s luxuriously styled with succulent fruit, fresh acidity and soft, powdery tannins. It seems cleaner and more polished than this wine was four or five vintages ago and it has richness about it that certainly tastes expensive – Pinot for people who like De Toren Fusion V. Price:  R310 a bottle from Wine Village in Hermanus.

Score: 89/100.


  1. Christian in April this year I had a private tasting with the winemaker Hannes Storm and he indicated to me that the 2013 was made stylistically a tad different than most of his previous vintages.

    I am huge supporter of the new 2013 vintage.

  2. “Hamilton Russell is the original and still the gold standard for the region. The wines are all class.”
    John Szabo, Master Sommelier, Canada, March 2014

    “Dare I say, you might think that you were drinking say a Vosne-Romanee Beaux Monts, if it were not for the opulence on the nose. Superb.”
    Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, October 2014

    . . . and I tend to agree with them, as do many others.

  3. Trust this proprietor to get involved!
    It’s a controversial wine.
    “Mid rust red. Sweaty, indistinct nose. Rather syrupy palate. Nothing like the precision of the Chardonnay from this address. Rusty-nail finish. Fruit fades very fast. What a contrast there is between this famously pioneering producer’s Pinot and Chardonnay. 14.5/20”
    … and I tend to agree with her, as do many others


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