As one of SA’s fastest selling wines, few get to taste this famed Chardonnay at its prime. Excitingly, the Hamilton Russell 2018 Chardonnay release coincides with a limited edition vertical 3-pack (2015, 2016, 2017) of Emul Ross’ vintages, including the 2015 which was featured on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list at #11 – SA’s highest spot to date.
Although Emul Ross might still seem new, this is his 4th Chardonnay release and he is clearly ensconced in the values of this pioneering property. His deft hand, which is attuned to the DNA of Hamilton Russell Vineyards, is evident in this fine 2018.
There is a sense of surety, precision and, yes, personality in the 2018 Hamilton Russell Chardonnay. Delineated and light-footed with fragrant fruit and a thread of oak on the palate, it is both serious and bright at the same time. Though enjoyable now, primary and fresh, its structured core will ensure that it gets better with time.
The wines in the vertical 3-pack show a remarkable consistency as they all share the estate’s trademark freshness and mineral backbone. Each vintage is invidually labelled with a limited print from Anthony and Olive Hamilton Russell’s private South African art collection. We only have a small number of these rare packs available.
Hamilton Russell, Chardonnay 2018
A tight, mineral wine with classic Hamilton Russell Vineyards length and complexity. Prominent pear and lime fruit aromas and flavours are brought beautifully into focus by a tight line of bright natural acid and a long, dry minerality. An elegant, yet textured and intense wine with a strong personality of both place and vintage. – Hamilton Russell Vineyards
Fragrant frangipani plus oak perfume. Primary pear skin along with citrus spritz leads to a pithy palate interlaced with oak nuances. Youthful and energetic now, but with a quiet weight. Begging for some time to settle. The 2018 is both classic and modern; walking a fresh, perfumed tight rope underscored by a classic struture. The finish has a super intensity with the young sweet fruit supported by a sophisticated acidity. – James Pietersen (February 2019)
Hamilton Russell, Chardonnay 2017
Not sold separately. Featured artist: Alfred Krenz
Melon, yellow apple, white peach and quince flavours give this an opulent feel, harnessed by honeysuckle and quinine accents through the finish, showing refinement and length in the end. Drink now through 2021. – Wine Spectator, 93/100 (Top 100 List 2018 #57)
Hamilton Russell, Chardonnay 2016
Not sold separately. Featured artist: Richard Scott
Emul Ross used less malolactic in 2012 because of the lower levels of natural acidity, but otherwise this wine follows a very successful template. Floral, green olive aromas segue into a rich, textured, honeyed palate with well-handled spicy oak and a plush, yet focused finish. A wine that deserves its lofty reputation. Drink: 2018-2028. – Tim Atkin MW, 95/100
Hamilton Russell, Chardonnay 2015
Not sold separately. Featured artist: Moses Tladi
Ripe and rippling with tension, featuring Jonagold apple, white peach, mirabelle plum and honeysuckle notes coiled at the core. Accents of heather and hazelnut extend slowly through the citrus oil— and mineral-edged finish. Best from 2017 through 2022. – Wine Spectator, 94/100 (Top 100 List 2016 #11)