The 2021 Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir is a remarkable expression of South African winemaking. This red wine showcases the elegance and complexity that Pinot Noir is known for, and it hails from the prestigious Hemel en Aarde appellation in the Walker Bay region of the Western Cape.
In the glass, this Pinot Noir displays a vibrant red color that is inviting and alluring. On the nose, it reveals aromas of cherries and wild strawberries, accompanied by intriguing notes of dried herbs, paprika, citrus rind, and stones. The bouquet is layered and multifaceted, offering a sensory journey from the first whiff.
On the palate, the 2021 Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir delivers concentrated red berry fruit flavors that are both luscious and enticing. There is a delightful interplay of sweet and spicy notes that add depth and dimension to the wine. The velvety tannins provide structure and contribute to a long and memorable finish.
This vintage is particularly noteworthy, as winemaker Anthony Hamilton Russell considers it to be one of his finest Pinot Noir creations to date. The 2021 growing season was cooler and later, resulting in a wine with exceptional balance and finesse. Despite its youthfulness, this wine has the potential to age gracefully for several decades, showcasing its longevity and aging potential.
The 2021 Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir spent 10 months aging in François Frères barriques, which imparted subtle oak nuances that complement the fruit-driven character of the wine. The winemaking process also involved 12% whole bunches, adding a savory and spicy aspect to the wine's profile.
Renowned wine critics have also praised this exceptional Pinot Noir. Decanter awarded it an impressive score of 96 points, noting the concentrated fruit, velvety tannins, and long-term aging potential. James Suckling awarded it 93 points, highlighting its refined and delicate character, impressive tension, and lingering finish. Tim Atkin, a Master of Wine, scored this wine 95 points, emphasizing its stylish oak integration, sinewy tannins, and vibrant core of plum, raspberry, and dark cherry fruit.
In conclusion, the 2021 Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir is a stunning representation of South African winemaking excellence. Its harmonious blend of fruit, spice, and structure make it a memorable wine that will continue to evolve and captivate over time. Whether enjoyed now or cellared for future enjoyment, this Pinot Noir is a true gem that deserves a place in any wine connoisseur's collection.