Hamilton Russell Vineyards, Pinot Noir 2020 Bottle size: 750mlSouth Africa, Hemel-en-Aarde
'Our low-vigour, stony, clay-rich soil, cool maritime mesoclimate, naturally tiny yields of well under 35 hl/ha and our philosophy of expressing our terroir in our wines – give rise to a certain tightness, tannin line and elevated length to balance the richness and generosity of our Pinot noir. Our Pinot noir is not overtly fruity, soft and “sweet” and it generally shows hints of that alluring savoury “primal” character along with a dark, spicy, complex primary fruit perfume.' – Hamilton Russell Vineyards
'Generosity of fruit complimented by intriguing reduction and spice. The wine shows notes of cranberry, wild strawberry, blood orange, salinity, tea leaf, slate-like minerality and juicy acidity with a lingering, moreish finish. An incredibly pure richness coupled with white pepper spice and hint of charred wood. Makes for a really great Pinot Noir. Cellar for a few years before opening' – James Pietersen (May 2021)
Tasting notes on the 2019 vintage:
'Made with 84% purchased fruit because of the fire in Hamilton Russell's own vineyards, this is a cuvée of the three Hemel-en-Aarde Valley sub-regions, and all the better for it. A one-off it may be, but it's less earthy and backward than the estate's normal style, combining fragrance elegance with racy red berry fruit, some clove spice, supporting tannins and stylish oak. Drink 2021-29.' – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2020, 95/100
'A first for HRV: as precaution to avoid smoke taint after wildfires, only 16% of estate grapes used in 2019; merger of the 3 Hemel-en-Aarde appellations (WO Walker Bay) gives softer tannins & fruit weight than usual but a broad appeal & charming personality.' – Platter's Guide, 4.5* (94/100)
|Technical analysis||RS: 1.9 g/L | TA: 5.44 g/L | PH: 3.65|
|Drink to||Drink or cellar|
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AG: Antonio Galloni of Vinous.com | AM: Allen Meadows of Burghound.com | CE: Christian Eedes of Winemag.co.za | DEC: Decanter | GS: Greg Sherwood MW | JS: James Suckling | JR: JancisRobinson.com | JD: Jeb Dunnuck | NM: Neal Martin of Vinous.com OM: Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show | PG: Platter's Guide | ST: Stephen Tanzer of Vinous.com | TA: Tim Atkin MW | VIN: Vinous.com | WA: Wine Advocate | WE: Wine Enthusiast | WM: Winemag.co.za Report | WS: Wine Spectator