Hamilton Russell Vineyards new releases

By , 18 May 2021

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8

The team at Hemel en Aarde Valley property Hamilton Russell Vineyards pride themselves on making wines that clearly express vintage conditions, 2020 cooler than fire-affected 2019, and phenolic ripeness at lower alcohol than usual. Tasting notes and ratings for the current releases as follows:

Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay 2020
Price: R550

Fermented in mostly 228-litre French oak barrels, 24% new but also a small portion in foudre before maturation lasting nine months. Aromatics of citrus, an attractive herbal note plus hints of struck-match reduction and vanilla. Most definitely a lighter vintage but the palate shows great purity of fruit and racy acidity before a dry finish – taut and energetic. Alcohol: 12.9%. Total production: 51 516 bottles.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

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Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir 2020
Price: R600

Matured for 10 months in 228-litre French oak barrels, 25% new. Cranberry, wild strawberry, musk, fresh herbs and white pepper on the nose while the palate is light and very fresh with crunchy tannins – delicate and discreet. Alcohol: 12.8%. Total production: 31 092 bottles.

CE’s rating: 90/100.

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Comments

8 comment(s)

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  • Olive Hamilton Russell14 June 2021

    Hubris could not apply less to anyone in our team. Should you visit us, I have no doubt you would agree.

    For another respected opinion, please see this weekend’s post on Group Head Sommelier of Tsogo Sun, and highly respected international wine judge, Miguel Chan’s Instagram, commenting on our 2020’s – “The purism and purity of Hamilton Russell Vineyards in capturing their Chardonnay & Pinot noir sites expressions over the last four decades consistently places HRV amongst the world’s finest producers of the variety, a South African benchmark”

  • Olive Hamilton Russell21 May 2021

    This is just one local opinion. The wine is expensive because it sells, even uncomfortably fast, at this price. It has been very well received by the international sommelier community, and has sold very well here in South Africa. Reassuring to know that there are a reasonable amount of internationally exposed palates in this country, who appreciate our more intellectual style.

    • Dean24 May 2021

      I’m just a feckless local, but I’m not sure shaming customers is ever a good strategy. Unless HRV’s plan is to publicise the pride that (probably) helped precipitate its fall.

      • Schalk Burger25 May 2021

        I think the “shaming” comments were aimed at the reviewer rather than the customer. At any rate, a product with “more” intellectual style implies a lack of said quality in the competition, but to my parochial tastes the likes of the Crystallum, Newton Johnson and Storm Pinots provide plenty of grist to the intellectual mill.

      • Jabulani Debedu25 May 2021

        Agreed Dean. The hubris displayed is staggering. It is rather curious that OHR would be flustered by “just one local opinion”.

  • Schalk Burger20 May 2021

    Based on the relative quality advances made over the last 6/7 years by rival pinot producers (including some new entrants), I tend to agree with the score given. Better value to be had at R600.

  • GillesP18 May 2021

    That is a poor score for the Pinot. Especially at that price.

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