2010 Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir Walker Bay

SKU #1117951 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The sublime 2010 Pinot Noir is aged for 10 months in oak, of which 44% was new and the remainder used. It has a ripe bouquet of redcurrant, strawberry and Morello that shows no signs of under-ripeness that Hamilton’s Pinots occasionally exhibit due to leaf-roll. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe fleshy redcurrant and cranberry fruit that is underpinned by extremely fine tannins. This has wonderful build in the mouth and the finish is exuberant, almost feisty! This is an audacious Pinot Noir from one of South Africa’s top estates. Drink now-2020. Bravo to Hamilton Russell, who have produced an outstanding Pinot Noir in 2010, one of the finest New World expressions of the grape variety that I have encountered. When Hamilton Russell gets it right, they hit bullseye.  (12/ 2012)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Ripe, juicy and nicely compact, with plum sauce, blackberry and cherry skin notes wound at the core while mouthwatering anise and singed apple wood notes run along the edges. Possesses impressive cut and persistence. Drink now through 2015.  (11/ 2012)

Jancis Robinson

 100% Pinot Noir from the most southerly wine estate in Africa, located in the cool, maritime Walker Bay wine region near the old fishing village of Hermanus. Vines are planted on stony, clay-rich, shale-derived soil. Grapes were hand-picked into small tanks and given a cold pre-ferment maceration. Fermented with a combination of cultured and indigenous vineyard yeasts. The wine then spent nine months maturing in small French oak barrels with just a very light filtration prior to bottling... Very serious, well-meaning rendition of Pinot Noir (of which there are few great examples in South Africa). Lots of acidity but definitely getting there.  (10/ 2012)

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Price: $39.99

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Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
Country:

South Africa

- Now that it has adopted a multi-racial attitude, and now that the world has embraced its government and its exports, South Africa has become a major wine producer. Unfortunately, South Africa has had a difficult time joining the ranks of competitive winemaking countries. During the anti-apartheid sanctions in the 1980s, South African wine was dealt the huge blow when it was removed from the international market, and for political reasons it was quite difficult for wine producers to market wine to the black majority. Things are finally looking up for the wine industry here, and quality has never been higher. South Africa produces a grape cloned from Pinot Noir and Cinsault, called Pinotage, which is the country's unique varietal. Chenin Blanc (known as Steen) makes up one-third of its vines. Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz are becoming increasingly popular as are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Click for a list of bestselling items from South Africa.
Alcohol Content (%): 14