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Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir 2017 Hemel-en-Aarde is single estate Pinot Noir at its best. Every year we taste the wines from Anthony and Olive Hamilton Russell with the previous vintage sitting as a benchmark and every year they seem to create something impressive enough to beat the previous effort. There are no second wines at Hamilton Russell, so all of the best grapes go into this one wine.
Red cherry, touches of tobacco, earthy and herbal. There is an energy to this wine that has made us put down a few cases to cellar.
Here is the Hamilton Russell report on the vintage:
2017 was back to the 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.
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