Pinot Noir * 75cl * 13.5% ABV * Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, South Africa
The first Pinot Noir to be taken seriously from South Africa was Hamilton Russell. This is the most southerly wine estate in Africa and the closest to the sea and is located in the cool, maritime Walker Bay wine region, in a beautiful valley behind the old fishing village of Hermanus. The estate specialises in producing highly individual, terroir driven Pinot Noir and Chardonnay which are widely regarded as the best in South Africa and among the best in the New World.
Founder Tim Hamilton Russell purchased the undeveloped 170 hectare farm in 1975, after an exhaustive search for the most southerly site on which to make South Africa's top cool climate wines from a selection of noble varieties. His son Anthony, who took over in 1991, narrowed the range to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay only and registered Hamilton Russell Vineyards as an Estate, committing to work only with grapes from their terroir. Extensive soil research initiated in 1994 identified 52 hectares of stony, clay-rich, shale-derived soil as optimal for the individual, origin expressive style they aim for and all plantings have now been limited to this soil type.
Anthony and winemaker Hannes Storm are completely dedicated to expressing the personality of the Hamilton Russell Vineyards terroir in their wines. Tiny yields and strong worldwide demand keep their elegant, individual, estate grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in restricted supply.
Finely oaked, with aromas and flavours of raspberry, cherry and plum, with hints of game, develop to a deeper more complex, earthy, mushroom character with bottle age. The Pinot-flavoured ripe sweetness is held together by fair tannins and perfect balance.