Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2014
Winery Location: Hemel en Aarde Valley, Hermanus
Winemaker: Hannes Storm
Background: Hamilton Russell Vineyards have made their mark by concentrating on producing premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay which are often rated by internationally respected wine aficionados to be amongst the world’s finest.
The 2012 Chardonnay was placed as number 19 in the 2013 Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of the Year worldwide, the first time ever for a South African wine to be in the top 20. Now in its 33rd vintage the 2014 was released on the market this week.
Their Chardonnay vines are grown on low vigour, stony, clay-rich soils and the 2014 vintage benefitted from the high level of physiological ripeness which gave lower alcohols than usual.
This resulted in the wine having a rich depth of character without the sweetness and weight usually found in higher alcohol wines. Fermentation was both in barrel (92 percent) and stainless steel (eight percent) and matured in first, second, and third-fill barrels over eight-and-half-months.
Result: This wine is superbly balanced and complex, showing impressive lemon and pear crispness mixed with a firm yeasty composition of flavours on the palate along with a dry minerality on the tail.
When to drink: now till 2020
Drink with what: Most shellfish dishes but try Walker Bay crayfish with lemon, ginger and coriander sauce from Olive Hamilton Russell’s delightful book Entertaining at Hamilton Russell Vineyards.
Expect to pay: R326.00
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