Storm new releases

By , 4 April 2023

The release of the 2021 vintage of Pinot Noir from Hannes Storm is his 10th, later and cooler than usual, and yields low – compared to 2020, the Vrede vineyard produced 30% less grapes to work with, Ridge 10% less although Ignis was 20% more. In Storm’s own words, the 2021s are “not about base notes and grunt but rather balance”. Tasting notes and ratings as follows:

Storm Vrede Pinot Noir 2021
W.O. Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Matured for 11 months in French oak, 25% new. The nose is open with notes of cranberry, strawberry and red currant plus hints of musk and earth while the palate is relatively light with sweet fruit, lemon-like acidity and fine yet grippy tannins, the finish nicely dry. Alc: 13.62%.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

Storm Ignis Pinot Noir 2021
W.O. Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Matured for 11 months, 24% new. Primary aromatics of red currant, a touch of fynbos and white pepper. The palate is delicate with good clarity of fruit, bright acidity and fine tannins. Plenty of verve before a salty finish. Alc: 13.19%.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

Storm Ridge Pinot Noir 2021
W.O. Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge. Matured for 11 months, 16% new. Red and black berries, musk and violets on the nose. Light bodied but the fruit expression is definite, the acidity zesty, the tannins very fine – understated and poised. Alc: 12.62%.

CE’s rating: 94/100.

The two examples of Chardonnay from the 2022 vintage, meanwhile, are stellar. The preceding winter was the wettest in 24 years and the vineyards clearly benefited from this, both in terms of quality and quantity (volumes 300% more than 2021).

Storm Vrede Chardonnay 2022
W.O. Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Matured for eight months in French oak, 30% new. Pear, citrus and oatmeal on the nose while the palate shows great composure with lovely presence and texture – dense fruit, crisp acidity and a pithy finish. Alc: 13.17%.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

Storm Ridge Chardonnay 2022
W.O. Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge. Matured for 11 months, 90% in French oak (of which 32% was new) and 10% in clay amphorae. Still very primary on the nose with a note of struck-match reduction to go with citrus. The palate, meanwhile, is powerful and yet focused and precise – concentrated fruit and driving acidity, the finish exceptionally long and savoury. Alc: 13.22%.

CE’s rating: 96/100.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.   


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