Pinot Noir 2017


Pinot Noir


* Suggested retail price
Product code
6 x 750ml
Listing type
MBLL - General listing
South Africa
Regulated designation
Wine of origin (WO)
Western Cape
Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
Pinot Noir 100 %
Alcohol percentage
Closure type
Winery's website

About this winery

Hamilton Russell Vineyards – one of the most southerly wine Estates in Africa and one of the closest to the sea – pioneered viticulture and winemaking in the beautiful, cool, maritime Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation, just behind the old fishing village of Hermanus. The Estate specialises in producing highly individual, terroir driven Pinot noir and Chardonnay, which are widely regarded as the best in South Africa and among the finest in the New World. Owner, Anthony Hamilton Russell took...

See the HAMILTON RUSSELL VINEYARDS detail page for more information on this brand

Notes about product

2017 was back to usual after a particularly early 2015 and 2016. Rainfall during crucial months was only 10mm below long-term average, so conditions could not be described as particularly dry. The vineyard's organic use of "good" Trichoderma funguses to attack botrytis was fortunately highly effective and there was no detrimental effect on what turned out to be exceptional grape quality. Altogether 2017 was an excellent vintage.

Winemaking notes

The wine went through 100% malolactic fermentation. Barrel aged for 10 months with 100% barrel maturation in French Oak barrels.

Tasting notes

This low-vigour, stony, clay-rich soil, cool maritime mesoclimate, naturally tiny yields of well under 35 hl/ha and the winery's philosophy of expressing the terroir in their wines give rise to a certain tightness, tannin line and elevated length to balance the richness and generosity of this Pinot noir. It 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.

Press reviews

Natalie MacLean

- 95 points -

July 2018

I love this wine year after year, and I'd rather be drinking it than writing about it so I'll let the previous note stand. Breathing this in is like walking into an opium den for wine lovers. Satin pillows of fleshy black cherry invite you to lie back, close your eyes and let your senses roam. Surely one of South Africa's finest Pinot Noir producers! Hamilton-Russell leads the way in the country for cool-climate viticulture and racy, exciting wines. Sophisticated and complex, but extremely easy to drink. Lavish fleshy ripe cherry aromas and flavours yet not simple or sweet. Complex, elegant and layered South African Pinot Noir from a master producer. Some dark spice on the finish. Silk texture. Chapter three of my second book (Unquenchable) includes a visit to this winery and dinner with the brilliant Anthony Hamilton Russell. This is easy to mistake for a top shelf Burgundian Pinot. 

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Tim Atkin MW

- 95 points -

September 2018

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

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James Suckling

- 93 points -

June 2018

Fresh red cherries, blueberries, rose petals, stems, nutmeg, licorice and spice box. Medium to full body, refined tannins, savory undertones and a caressing finish. Lovely tension to this. So refined and elegant.

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Wine Spectator

- 93 points -

August 2018

Offers a lovely mix of gently steeped cherry, plum and raspberry fruit flavors, infused with singed anise, black tea and incense is finely beaded.

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