94 pts winemag.co.za 10/28/20
While a fire in early-January of 2019 meant that Hemel-en-Aarde Valley property Hamilton Russell Vineyards was forced to make its Pinot Noir largely with grapes purchased from elsewhere, the Chardonnay vineyards were less affected although volumes were reduced. Tasting notes and ratings as follows:
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.
93+ pts Greg Sherwood MW March 2020
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.
A tight, mineral wine with classic Hamilton Russell Vineyards length and complexity. Prominent pear and lime fruit aromas and flavours are brought beautifully into focus by a tight line of bright natural acid and a long, dry minerality. An elegant, yet textured and intense wine with a strong personality of both place and vintage.