2017 Hamilton Russell Chardonnay

Hemel-en-Aarde
Origin
Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Walker Bay, South Africa SOUTH AFRICA
Colour
white
Wine Style
dry
Dominant Grape
Chardonnay
Maturity
drink or keep
Bottle Size
75cl
Case Quantity
6
Wine Score
91 points, Neil Martin, vinous.com, Aug 2018
96 points, Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, 2018
93 points, Cathy Marston, Platter`s, 2018
93 points, Andrew Jefford, decanter.com, February 2019
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Media Reviews

Neil Martin

The 2017 Chardonnay was whole-bunch-pressed, destemmed and matured for nine months with partial malolactic and light bâtonnage, in around 30% new wood, of which 40% is not toasted. It has an attractive bouquet of yellow plum and a subtle patisserie scent, the oak neatly integrated. The palate is well balanced with slightly lower acidity than its peers, good depth, a slightly waxy texture and a touch of candied orange peel toward the finish. Enjoy this over the next five or six years, possibly longer. 91 points

Tim Atkin MW

The 2017 vintage really is a brilliant year for Cape whites, as this stellar, world famous Chardonnay confirms. Tighter and more focused than the 2016, it has notes of beeswax, citrus and tangerine, embellished by aromatic oak. The best release yet of Hamilton Russell Chardonnay. Drink 2019-25. 96 points

Cathy Marston

Subtle & seamless 2017 melds toasty, creamy oak (31% new) with melange of citrus & peach; 10% unwooded portion keeps freshness, aided by zesty acidity. Delightful development - oatmeal, popcorn & honey hints - but plenty more to come. 93 points

Andrew Jefford

After the uncomfortably warm 2016 season, 2017 was more balanced and temperate in Walker Bay and its three key Hemel-en-Aarde wards, of which this is the lowest and most maritime. The wine is translucent red in colour, with dark, alluring plum and raspberry fruits and soft spice. On the palate the wine is intense, vivid and fresh, with the lyricism and lift which should always characterise this variety, and without the over-dry, abrupt finish and lingering fruitless warmth which can often creep into Pinot produced under very sunny skies. You find ample gathered intensity and energy of fruit here, but no clumsiness. That finesse lasts through to a graceful, stealthy finish. In contrast to other producers, Anthony Hamilton Russell doesn’t believe in cherry-picking individual parcels for a series of special cuvée wines, so this is a synopsis of the best of the estate’s Pinot fruit. 93 points

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