Pinot noir

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

Select Vintage:

Latest vintage available online via Port2Port.

  • Soil Low-vigour, stony, clay-rich, shale-derived soil


  • Alcohol 13.40%
  • Acid 5.44 g/l
  • pH 3.54
  • Residual Sugar 1.80 g/l


  • Barrel Ageing 10 months


  • Wooding 100% 228 litre French Oak Barrels
  • Tight Grain 100%


  • 1st fill 29%
  • 2nd fill 28%
  • 3rd fill 36%
  • 4th fill 7%


  • Hamilton Russell Vineyards Toast


  • French Coopers: Francois Freres 100%


  • Yield 25.8 hl/ha, 3.73 tons/ha
  • Production 2 900 x 12 cases


  • Vegan Friendly


  • Release date – February 2022
Growing Season

This stellar vintage was later and cooler than usual. Based on our measure of temperature, the average of the maximum temperatures for the 4 hottest months (crucial to harvest) Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar, 2021 came in at 24.3 Centigrade. This compares to 24.8 Centigrade for a long-term average of the equivalent period in Burgundy. In the last 25 years, only 2001, 2004 and 2008 have been cooler. Winter was wetter than usual with 140mm more rain than average, filling dams and building the water table beautifully. Chill units started accumulating later than usual and a cool Spring and later budding accounted for the later harvest. A warm January was a welcome help towards healthy ripening. Any disease pressure from rain showers during ripening was effectively controlled organicallty. Yields, as always for us, were low.  The Pinot noir harvest finished 10 days later than 2020, and the Chardonnay harvest finished 8 days later. Fruit quality and acidity were exceptional for both. The 2021 wines stand out for their complex, layered elegance, purity and mineral liveliness.

96 Points - Decanter, April 2022

95 Points - Tim Atkin, June 2022

91 Points - Neal Martin, Vinous, September 2022

96 Andy Howard MW, Decanter, April 2022

Shows concentrated red berry fruit and sweet and spicy notes on the palate with velvety tannins and structure for the long haul. Still ultra-youthful, it needs two or three years but will keep several decades.

95 Tim Atkin, June 2022

The latest in an impressive run of Pinot Noir releases from the ever youthful Emul Ross. Stylishly oaked in 29% new barrels, it's savoury and spicy, with 12% whole bunches, sinewy tannins and a core of plum, raspberry and dark cherry fruit.

Dermot MW, Dublin, March 2022

This wine has a level of depth and elegance I never expected from a South African pinot. It tasted like a top Morey, still closed on the nose (only just bottled) but with a remarkably elegant palate with supple, rich berry fruits balancing a very fine-grained tannin structure. This is a superb wine.

Sarah Marsh MW, October 2022

The 2021 is still very young but, for me, the best wine of the flight. The depth and texture of tannin is more sophisticated. It is a sensual wine in which sumptuousness and elegance combine well.

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