Hamilton Russell Vineyards, Chardonnay 2019 Bottle size: 750mlSouth Africa, Hemel-en-Aarde
'Unlike the Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir in the fire-affected 2019 vintage, the Chardonnay was all made with estate fruit. Entirely whole bunch-pressed for the first time, it's a commendably bright, elegant and focused wine with less malolactic (10%) than normal, pithy acidity, a hint of stone fruit sweetness and refined 27% new French oak. Something of a triumph against the odds. 2021-26' – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2020, 95/100
'Despite the difficult circumstances, the resulting wine is rather good. Fermented and matured for nine months in 93% 228-litre barrels about a quarter new and 7% foudre, the nose shows lemon and orange plus some leesy complexity while the palate is surprisingly rich given a moderate alcohol of 13.2% – great purity of fruit and nicely integrated acidity before a finish which is long and savoury. Lots and lots going on.' – Christian Eedes, Winemag.co.za, 94/100
'This wine shows the true pretty, overt appeal of the 2019 vintage without any of the usual youthful reduction and broody mineral austerity. The aromatics are bright, pure and lifted, ultra expressive, offering up seductive notes of Spring flowers, lemon cordial, green apple, yellow grapefruit confit and honeydew melon pastille sweets. The palate mirrors the aromatic succulence and generous fruit forward concentration boasting hallmark notes of sweet citrus fruit intensity, crystalline purity, tangy acids and a fleshy, glycerol harmonious persistence. A little more showy fruit immediacy will surely see this vintage race off the shelves with new and old Hamilton Russell collectors alike.' – Greg Sherwood MW, 93+/100
'Traditional estate style: complex, bracing & mineral. 2019 bunch pressed, wild yeast fermented in 228L/2,000L barrels/foudres, 27% new, 9 months on lees. Alluring stonefruit, citrus & starfruit notes, creamy, with lingering honeysuckle farewell. Cool-climate 13% alcohol.' – Platter's Guide, 4.5* (93/100)
'A very fine Chardonnay produced in difficult circumstances given the fire/smoke issues in the Western Cape. Unlike the Pinot Noir, this has been produced with 100% estate fruit and is very successful. Bunches were pressed whole (rather than de-stemmed) to reduce any smoke taint risks. Very crisp on the palate with fine acidity and a touch of stoned fruit, this is concentrated, mineral and elegant. Very youthful, ideally give this another 12 months to blossom a bit more. Drinking Window 2021 - 2027.' – Andy Howard MW, Decanter, 93/100
'The 2019 Chardonnay is whole-bunch-pressed and 93% barrel-fermented with 27% new oak. It has a clean, crisp bouquet of citrus fruit infused with smoke and hazelnut aromas, quite understated in style. The palate is well balanced, taut and linear, displaying fine acidity and gaining depth toward the persistent, saline finish. This is a superb Chardonnay from Hamilton Russell. Excellent. Drink 2022-2033.' – Neal Martin, Vinous, 93/100 (Apr 2021)
|Technical analysis||RS: 1.97 g/L | TA: 6.9 g/L | PH: 3.38|
|Blend information||100% Chardonnay|
|Drink to||Drink or cellar|
|Producer information||Tim Hamilton Russell founded Hamilton Russell Vineyards in 1975 when he purchased a 170 hectare undeveloped property and turned it into one of the most southerly wine Estates in Africa. He was one of the trailblazing producers of Pinot Noir and certainly the driving force behind the birth of Pinot Noir in the greater Walker Bay district. His son Anthony Hamilton Russell, the current second generation owner, took over in 1991 and purchased the property from his father in 1994. He has made his mark both internationally and locally with the Estate producing some of the country's finest Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.|
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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