Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
Country: South Africa
Region: Western Cape
Grape Variety: Pinot Noir
£36.99 Inc. VAT
Rebels and pioneers, Hamilton Russell Vineyards were the first to grow vines in the cool, maritime region of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Tim Hamilton Russell planted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on previously uncultivated land in 1976, both rare varieties for South Africa at the time. The site he chose behind the old fishing village of Hermanus allows for unusually classically styled wines, which have garnered the reputation as some of the ﬁnest in South Africa and the New World, to be produced near the tip of the African continent.
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.
‘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.’