HAMILTON RUSSELL VINEYARDS | Pinot Noir | 2018
pinot noir

HAMILTON_RUSSELL_VINEYARDS_PinotNoir_2018

We will be evaluating wines in no particular order on no particular schedule. Just stay tuned and you will never miss our reviews. If the wine is tasted more than once, the rating table will be updated so as to reflect all the new impressions and observations.

The wine we are going to review today is a living legend from South Africa – Pinot Noir 2018 by Hamilton Russell Vineyards. This pinot noir is a modern icon and it is regarded as the best in South Africa. One of the country’s most southerly wine estates, it produces world-class wines that are unique thanks to the estate’s enviable climate, soil and tiny yields. The winemaker has committed to produce only wines from two grape varieties: pinot noir and chardonnay, and only with grapes from their terroir. Extensive research identified 52 hectares of low-vigour, stony, clay-rich and shale-derived soil as an optimal place for the terroir-driven wines and, coupled with the cool maritime mesoclimate, it was the perfect spot, thus all plantings have been limited to this specific micro-region. That said, without further ado, let’s take a look at the wine tasting results.
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Take a look at the tasting notes below and our detailed assessment of the wine:

HAMILTON_RUSSELL_VINEYARDS_PinotNoir_2018_review

sight
//Visual
clarity: clear | hazy | cloudy | misty
brightness: dull | hazy | bright | starbright
concentration: translucent | pale | medium | deep | opaque
color: indigo | purple | ruby | garnet | copper
hue: indigo | purple | ruby | garnet | copper

//Sight
stain: light | medium | heavy
viscosity: low | medium | high
gas evidence: yes | no
sediment: yes | no

compound
//Olfactory
outset: clean | faulty [TCA | sulphur | ethyl acetate | geosmin | brett | oxidation | VA]
intensity: delicate | light | moderate | rich | powerful
fruit profile: red fruits | black fruits | blue fruits | berry fruits
__red fruits: sour cherry | sweet cherry | red plum | red currant | cranberry
__black fruits: black cherry | black plum | blackcurrant | blackberry | black raspberry
__blue fruits: blue plum | blueberry | honeyberry | blue huckleberry
__berry fruits: strawberry | raspberry | wild strawberry | goji berry | wolfberry
fruit character: baked | unripe | ripe | overripe | jammy | dried

//Flavor
non fruit: floral | vegetal | herbal | spice | oak | sweet | animal | earth
__floral: orange blossom | roses | peonies | lilac | violet | lavender
__vegetal: dill | bell pepper | capsicum | asparagus | olive
__herbal: eucalyptus | coriander | currant leaf | tomato leaf
__spice: red pepper | black pepper | nutmeg | cloves | anise | rosemary | ginger | mint
__oak: coconut | vanilla | cinnamon | liquorice | tobacco | coffee | chocolate | smoke
__sweet: caramel | toffee | burnt sugar | molasses | menthol | dried figs
__animal: gravy | capocollo | veal| leather | musk | barnyard | horse saddle
__earth (organic): soil dust | turf | forest floor | compost | mushrooms | truffle
__earth (inorganic): limestone | chalk | slate | flint | aspirin | petroleum | varnish
__wood: [old | new | none] / [dried | roasted | charred]
aroma: primary | secondary | tertiary

graph
//Palate
sweetness: bone dry | dry | off dry | sweet | extra sweet
acidity: low | med(-) | medium | med(+) | high
alcohol: low | med(-) | medium | med(+) | high
tannin: low | med(-) | medium | med(+) | high
__grip: fine | ripe | firm | green | rough
texture: creamy | round | lean
body: light | medium | full
balance: bad | poor | fair | good | fine
__dominant: sugar | acidity | alcohol | tannin | none
complexity: simple | moderate | complex

//Taste
fruit profile: red fruits | black fruits | blue fruits
fruit character: baked | unripe | ripe | overripe | jammy | dried
non fruit: floral | vegetal | herbal | spice | oak | sweet | animal | earth
aroma: primary | secondary | tertiary
finish: short | med(-) | medium | med(+) | long
aftertaste: rough | astringent | seedy | appealing | velvety

rate
//Scoring
HAMILTON RUSSELL VINEYARDS | Pinot Noir | 2018

variety: pinot noir
origin: old world | new world
climate: cool | moderate | warm
country: South Africa
region: Hemel-en-Aarde
rating: 94.7

//Conclusion
maturity: on the rise | in its prime | past its prime | on the decline
verdict: fair | good | fine | great | exceptional
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96x96This is definitely a great wine of South Africa and, with a total of 94.7 points scored, this wine is right there, among the best wines we’ve rated so far. Check our complete database on the wine rating page, where you can find all the wines that we have tasted and reviewed or go to the about us page and find out more about our exquisite rating system.

Verdict: this is a well-crafted cool climate pinot noir wine that still on the rise – one that will surely benefit from another year or two in the bottle. The wine display a very good harmony overall and an amazingly seductive palate – fine structure, silky but ripe tannins and warm, spicy notes from those 9 months maturation in Francois Frère oak barrels. It is a wine of great quality, one that delivers bright, tart red fruits and crisp, mouth-watering acidity and, with a little more time in the glass, some delicate notes of violets and varnish. The 2018 Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir is a fine example of an age-worthy pinot noir wine from a cool climate and a benchmark one from South Africa.

HAMILTON_RUSSELL_VINEYARDS_PinotNoir_2018_profilex_the_color

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© The WineStatistics ratings are based solely on our own knowledge of the world of wine and on our personal wine tastes, which may, or may not, differ from yours – the reader. Just remember that there are no absolutes of right and wrong in wine appreciation.

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