2016 Hamilton Russell Chardonnay Hemel-en-Aarde Valley

SKU #1298771 93 points James Suckling

 This is a Chardonnay that bridges the gap between Old and New World. Wonderfully (but not overly) ripe stone fruit meets with green apples, yellow plums and satsumas. On the palate it's delicious and so refined. Full-bodied but fresh and succulent. Drink now.  (8/2017)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2016 Chardonnay underwent less malolactic than other vintages to preserve the acidity, around 40%, and the wine matured in 38% new oak for nine to ten months. Yields were very low at around 20 hectoliters per hectare. It is much less rich than the 2015, yet it displays finer delineation and perhaps more mineralité. The palate is very well balanced with superb tension, brimming full of energy and fanning out with nutmeg and smoked walnut notes towards the somewhat feisty finish. (NM)  (4/2017)

93 points Vinous

 Bright, light yellow. Highly perfumed but tight nose hints at citrus peel, nectarine, white flowers and stony minerality. Lemony and tight but deep, with terrific salty mineral energy giving punch to the pear and lime flavors. Distinctly backward, savory Chardonnay with lovely subtle, rising length and grip. This wonderfully elegant, taut, seamless wine needs time to blossom and put on weight. Classically tight and austere for this bottling. (ST)  (5/2017)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Lush, with creamed yellow apple, quince and white peach flavors forming the core, while buried quinine and verbena notes add detail and length. (JM)  (5/2017)

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Price: $29.99
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Staff Image By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/3/2017 | Send Email
I was outright blown away by the quality of this Chardonnay from one of the cooler climate sites in the Cape South Coast. The wineries lies very close to the ocean, ushering in the sea breezes, which keeps the vines cool and prevents flat qualities and acid loss. This wine portrays every single quality I look for in a good Chardonnay: Rich, but not overly ripe fruit, a touch of oak to provide structure and depth, enough natural acid to brighten the fruit characters, and a sense of minerality that comes from the soils and proximity to the sea. I consider this to be one of the best Chardonnays in the store and I cannot emphasize enough how incredibly delicious I thought it was. Really one of my top picks that will please almost anyone.
Top Value!

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, M√Ęcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
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 (%): 13.5