Exceptional quality and record low yields characterize 2019. Sauvignon blanc yields were 52% down and Pinotage yields were 65% down. And the Sauvignon blanc ripened a little unevenly and unusually early. The Pinotage was particularly concentrated without being too dense or heavy. The Sauvignon blanc has a beautiful vinosity and saline minerality and true to Southern Right is not too fruit-driven. Once again it shows a tight mineral center with viscous edges. Overall the vintage was a cooler than 2017 and even 2018, with an average maximum temperature for Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar of 24.5 Centigrade (versus an equivalent long term average for Burgundy of 24.8 Centigrade). Rainfall was lower than average for Spring and during harvest, but occurred in frequent small amounts causing sustained high humidity. Fortunately our organic treatments proved highly effective against the resulting downy and powdery mildew threat. And the day after harvest finished, the serious rains began – some luck at least! We had the highest March rainfall in 21 years. Record low production and some challenges, but the 2019’s have a deep, concentrated, refined beauty.
The Southern Right Pinotage is made to accentuate fruit purity and elegance with refined characteristics. The 2019 Southern Right Pinotage shows lots of personality with concentrated red ripe berry fruit flavors on its medium body frame. Sleek in texture it becomes suppler with aeration, the fruit having good vibrancy and lift while the tannins are powdery making this something that will really develop nicely with a few years of extra bottle age. This plays on the Pinot side of the varietal with cooler climate suggestions to the fruit.
93 pts Tim Atkin MW – “I might be getting older, but is this really the 25th vintage of the Southern Right Pinotage? If so, it’s one of the best yet.”
93 pts Dr Owen Bargreen, Washington Wine Blog, USA – “The 2019 Southern Right Pinotage is a sensational wine by Anthony Hamilton-Russell. Stony terroir combines with shades of blood orange zest, bright guava and smoke on the nose. The palate is dense and plush with layers of pretty red fruits with rose water, smoked brisket and minerals. The light salinity and veil of freshness combine with the core of fruits, adding to the drinking experience. Outstanding for its balance, viscosity, texture, range and length, the 2019 Southern Right Pinotage will cellar well for at least another decade.”