2017 Hamilton Russell Chardonnay: 'the best yet'

25 Mar 2019

'2017 is one of the Cape's best-ever vintages'

 - Tim Atkin, 2018 South Africa Report  

Change seems to be Anthony Hamilton Russell's watchword. Since taking over in the early nineties he has changed the vines, the method of farming, and - in conjunction with some stellar winemakers - the quality. Employees have become so besotted with the valley and its potential that they leave to set up their own wineries. Among them are Newton Johnson, Hannes Storm and Ataraxia , all seeded by Hamilton Russell.

Even during the three drought years culminating in 2017, Hemel-en-Aarde had more rain than London and that suits the clay, shale and granite ridges. In 2015 as part of a continuing commitment to their shallow soils and the rest of the estate they converted to organics, including the use of 'good' fungus to combat the bad ones rather than covering the land with copper.

2017 was cooler than either 2015 or 2016. No need for aircon, and Emul Ross, who used to work with another old friend of Uncorked, Gottfried Mocke, has made two brilliant wines. As well as being promoted to Tim Atkin's renowned South African First Growth status, the 2017 Chardonnay is one of Tim's wines of the year. Both wines have precise fruit definition and freshness and a range of maturation vessels from blond oak to amphorae retains both terroir and vintage character. /CW

Offered subject to remaining unsold; available now online and in the shop