Pinot noir

Our low-vigour, stony, clay-rich soil, cool maritime mesoclimate, naturally tiny yields of well under 35 hl/ha and our philosophy of expressing our terroir in our wines – give rise to a certain tightness, tannin line and elevated length to balance the richness and generosity of our Pinot noir. Our Pinot noir is not overtly fruity, soft and “sweet” and it generally shows hints of that alluring savoury “primal” character along with a dark, spicy, complex primary fruit perfume.

Select Vintage:

Latest vintage available online via Port2Port.


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




6.00 g/l



Residual Sugar:

1.90 g/l

Barrel Maturation:


Barrel Ageing:

10 months



1st fill:


2nd fill:


3rd fill:



100% 228 litre French Oak Barrels

Tight Grain:


French Coopers: Mercurey


Francois Freres:


Toasting Medium:


Medium-Light Blonde:



3.03 tons/ha, 18.76 hl/ha


3485 cases

Release date – February 2016
Growing Season

2015 was an extraordinary vintage – unlike anything we have experienced before. It started a full 2 weeks early and finished over a period of 4 weeks (on February 20th) instead of our customary 7 weeks. The grapes were extremely healthy with thick skins and an unusually low juice content and the resulting wines are fuller and more sumptuous and concentrated than the 2013’s and 2014’s. Full ripeness was achieved surprisingly quickly and this happened despite the average maximum temperatures for the crucial months of Dec, Jan, Feb and Mar being lower at 24.95 Centigrade than our long term average of 25 Centigrade. This makes 2015 cooler than the celebrated 2013, 2012 and 2009. Another previously unexperienced feature of 2015 was the very high yeast conversion rates of grape sugars to alcohol. This was an industry wide feature and 2015’s, to be phenolically ripe, needed higher alcohol levels. A much drier and slightly warmer Spring than usual, in part accounts for the early harvest, combined with a drier and slightly warmer than average January. The harvest period had just over half of the average rainfall for the period. Greater sunlight intensity in the build-up to harvest also sped things up. 2015 was the first organic harvest (with some biodynamic features) for us and we have been thrilled with the results in our wines. We simply feel much better about what we do and we have been brought even closer to our all important vineyards. A logistically challenging but excellent vintage.

93 Points - Wine Spectator

94 Points - Decanter

94 Points - Steve Tanzer

94 Points - Tim Atkin

92 Points - Wine Advocate

91 Points - Christian Eedes

94 Andrew Howard MW, Decanter

Given the hot vintage it is no surprise that this is one of the riper, fuller expressions of Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir, The nose is classic pinot with red-cherry notes combining with a touch of truffle and earthy characters. Warm and quite New World on the palate, there is still depth and lovely fruit purity here. Redcurrant and cherry combine with some spicy notes to keep everything fresh. A weightier, more forward style.

93 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

“Gorgeous, with a silky, persistent and racy structure guiding alluring rooibos tea, blood orange, damson plum and singed wood spice notes along.”

94 Steve Tanzer

“South African Pinot noir does not get better than this.”

Mike Froud, Top Wine SA

“One of South Africa’s Top 20 Wineries 2016 - Best Track Record 2006 - 2015”

5 stars Platter’s 2017 South African Wine Guide