Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir
Brand : Hamilton Russell Vineyards
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- South Africa
- Grape Variety:
- Pinot Noir
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‘Our low-vigour, stony, clay-rich soil, cool maritime mesoclimate, naturally tiny yields of well under 35 hl/ha give rise to a certain tightness, tannin line and elevated length to balance the richness and generosity of this Pinot Noir. The wine is not overtly fruity but it is soft and “sweet” and it generally shows hints of that alluring savoury “primal” character along with a dark, spicy, complex primary fruit perfume.’
One of the most southerly wine estates in South Africa and one of the closest to the sea, Hamilton Russell was founded in 1975. This iconic estate is a renowned Pinot Noir and Chardonnay specialist. It took founder Tim Russell years of research to discover the best site to plant his first vines. He bought a 170 hectare plot next to Hermanus, by the sea, in the Hemel en Aarde (heaven on earth appropriately) subregion of Walker Bay. His son, Anthony, took over in 1991 and narrowed the estate plantings down to the two Burgundy grapes. Their philosophy is well summed up by Anthony's words: "we are using Pinot noir and Chardonnay to express the beauty and personality of Hamilton Russell Vineyards" - like Burgundy, the wines very much express their terroir. Fermented in a third new French oak and aged in barrel for 9 months, this is a fine, complex white.
1994 saw Anthony Hamilton Russell take ownership of the Estate, and extensive soil research was initiated which identified 52 hectares of stony, clay-rich, shale soils as optimal for the individual, expressive style of wine desired. Today, the Estate has 20 parcels of Chardonnay vines, all vinified separately, before blending for consistency of aesthetic, but with the character of the vintage also present. The Pinot Noir plots give Burgundian subtlety, texture and length, which is down to the identification of the shale/gravel soils on which the vines now grow.