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Chardonnay

A tight, minerally wine with classic Hamilton Russell Vineyards length and complexity. Unusually prominent pear and lime fruit aromas and flavours are brought beautifully into focus by a tight line of bright natural acid and a long, dry minerality. An elegant, yet textured and intense wine with a strong personality of both place and vintage.

Select Vintage:

Latest vintage available online via Port2Port.

Soil:

Low-vigour, stony, clay-rich, shale-derived soil

Alcohol:

13.16%

Acid:

6.0 g/l

pH:

3.30

Residual Sugar:

1.40 g/l


Barrel Fermentation:

90% 228 liter French Oak Barrels

Foudre:

4%

stainless steel:

5%

ceramic egg:

1%


Barrel Ageing:

9 Months in 228 liter French Oak Barrels

1st fill:

31%

2nd fill:

33%

3rd fill:

33%

4th fill:

3%


Tight Grain:

100%

Blonde Toast:

47%

Medium Toast:

40%

Medium Long Toast:

13%


French Coopers:

100% Francois Freres


Yield:

3.78 tons/ha, 22.90 hl/ha

Production:

5963 cases of 12 bottles equivalent


Release date – December 2017
Growing Season

2017 was back to our usual timing after a particularly early 2015 and 2016. As for 2015 and 2016 however, the duration of harvest was short, with all grapes coming in prior to the end of February – having begun the harvest in the first week of February. Based on average maximum temperatures for the crucial months of Dec, Jan, Feb, March, 2017 was a warm harvest – 0.53 centigrade above our long-term average of 25 centigrade. December was warmer, January cooler and February warmer than average. Rainfall for these crucial months was only 10mm below our long-term average, so conditions could not be described as particularly dry. The rain which fell was in more regular very small amounts however, raising humidity and creating botrytis pressure. Our organic use of “good” Trichoderma funguses to attack botrytis was fortunately highly effective and we experienced no detrimental effect on what turned out to be exceptional grape quality. Altogether 2017 was an excellent vintage for us, with pure, fine, particularly classic, elegant wines with marked minerality.

96 Points - Tim Atkin

93 Points - Wine Spectator

92 Points - Wine Enthusiast

94 Points - James Suckling

91 Points - Neal Martin, Vinous

Number 57 in Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of the Year

96 Tim Atkin

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.

Jonathan Ray, Spectator

The Chardonnays epitomise all that is elegant and stylish about this grape. Lovers of fine white burgundy will lap them up.

Matthew Jukes

... a triumph. Grown in one of the most southerly wine estates in Africa ... the vineyards which overlook the ocean are blessed with a stunning maritime climate. ... delicate and impossibly elegant. It is pure, pale, innocent and yet firmly structured on the palate and incredibly long. I think you will like this wine very much indeed.

94 James Suckling

A stylish white wine with white stones, dried apricots, white blossoms, lemon curd, jasmine and caramalized citrus peel. Medium to full body, some really nice phenolic texture, very zesty acidity and a pinpoint finish.

John Szabo

Walker bay pioneer Hamilton-Russell continue to move in the front peloton, and this follow up to the excellent 2016 is already nicely open, perfumed, fragrant, with fruit slipping into the tropical spectrum – pineapple, peaches in syrup, nectarine, even some guava – unusually fruity for chardonnay. The palate is straighter, however, quite tightly wound, with high acids containing a creamy frame, as has been the case in past vintages, and very good length. Definitely worth exploring, and holding mid-term in the cellar.

David Lawrason

One of the priciest chardonnays of South Africa perhaps but it easily competes with and outshines many other global chardonnays at the price. This is a very complex, cohesive chardonnay that shows restraint, tension and finesse. Expect well distributed aromas and flavours of fine toast, spice, peach pit and stoniness that extend of almost outstanding length.

Sara d'Amato

A consistently elegant and authentic chardonnay sourced from Hemel-en-Aarde, a sub-appellation of Walker Bay that features a cool maritime climate. The wine shows distinctive purity of fruit, a light yeasty character and a chalky mineral texture. Well defined, precise and with very good balance.

94 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Melon, yellow apple, white peach and quince flavours give this an opulent feel, harnessed by honeysuckle and quinine accents through the finish, showing refinement and length in the end.

Barry Scholfield

With aromas of ripe, bright, yellow lemons, a touch of floral perfume and that characteristic, almost textbook, flinty, lanolin character, so akin to Burgundy that it seduced an international audience and helped put South Africa on the world map of premium Chardonnay production.