Latest vintage available online via Port2Port.
Low-vigour, stony, clay-rich, shale-derived soil
100% 228 litre French Oak Barrels
French Coopers: Francois Freres
3.46 tons/ha, 23.90 hl/ha
Release date – February 2018
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.
95 Points - Tim Atkin
93 Points - Wine Spectator
92 Points - Wine Enthusiast
93 Points - James Suckling
90 Points - Neal Martin
95 Tim Atkin
Continuing the subtle changes that have occurred under Emul Ross, the Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir is now a worthy stable mate for the estate’s Chardonnay. This shows the acidity of the 2017 vintage, with a fine perfume of wild strawberry and dried mushroom, subtle wood and a dense, complex, savoury finish.
93 James Suckling
Fresh red cherries, blueberries, rose petals, stems, nutmeg, licorice and spice box. Medium to full body, refined tannins, savoury undertones and caressing finish. Lovely tension to this. So refined and elegant.
Jonathan Ray, Spectator
The Pinot Noirs, too, are astoundingly fine and I’ve not had better from anywhere else in South Africa. Anthony HR makes famously ‘Burgundian’ Pinots but that’s not to say that they are simple imitations. There is a definite sense of place to these wines and the only place they could come from is the Hemel-en-Aarde (Heaven and Earth) Valley, one of the sweetest of sweet spots for this capricious grape variety.
A wonderful statement of South African Pinot noir, this is sleek and impeccably structured with complex evocations of smoky cedar, red cherry and plum, raspberry, tilled earth and cured meat. There's good flavour concentration, particularly for such an ethereally elegant wine.
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator
Offers a lovely mix of gentle steeped cherry, plum and raspberry fruit flavors, infused with singed anise, black tea and incense notes. A light mineral edge underscores the finish and the acidity is finely beaded.