20

17

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.

Soil:

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

Alcohol:

13.31%

Acid:

5.47 g/l

pH:

3.55

Residual Sugar:

1.60 g/l


Barrel Maturation:

100%

Barrel Ageing:

10 months

Malolactic:

100%

1st fill:

37%

2nd fill:

35%

3rd fill:

28%


Wooding:

100% 228 litre French Oak Barrels

Tight Grain:

100%


French Coopers: Francois Freres

67%

Mercurey:

33%


Toasting Blonde:

54%

Medium:

32%

Medium Long:

14%


Yield:

3.46 tons/ha, 23.90 hl/ha

Production:

3909 cases


Release date – February 2018
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.

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.

Vintages Panel

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.