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22

Chardonnay

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.

Select Vintage:

Latest vintage available online via Port2Port.

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

 

  • Alcohol: 13.20%
  • Acid: 6.40 g/l
  • pH: 3.36
  • Residual Sugar: 2.00 g/l

 

  • Barrel Ageing: 9 Months

 

  • Wooding: 40% 300 litre, 56% 228 litre French Oak Barrels
  • Barrel Fermentation: 100%
  • Foudre: 4%
  • Tight Grain: 100%

 

  • 1st fill: 23%
  • 2nd fill: 17%
  • 3rd fill: 17%
  • 4th fill: 43%

 

  • Hamilton Russell Vineyards Toast

 

  • French Coopers: Francois Freres 100%

 

  • Yield: 3.87 tons/ha, 23.22 hl/ha
  • Production: 5500 cases of 12 bottles equivalent

 

  • Release date – January 2023

 

  • Vegan Friendly
Growing Season

The timing of our 2022 harvest was similar to 2021, but a touch later than average, and our average of the maximum temperatures for the 4 crucial months leading up to and during harvest was 25.18 centigrade, higher than our long-term average of 24.63 centigrade and higher than 2021. While ripening was slow and extended, harvest was fortunately complete before the first rains in early March. The preceding Winter was our wettest in 24 years and was followed by a slightly wetter than average bud break to veraison period, but with an unusually (and usefully) dry September facilitating healthy, even budding. Apart from cold, wet, early season clay-rich soils inhibiting shoot growth, and a few late season heat spikes creating the potential for sunburn, the vintage proceeded smoothly and delivered beautiful, pure, generously textured wines. Yields, as always, were low, with Chardonnay coming in at 3,87t/ha (24hl/ha) and Pinot noir at 2,49t/ha (16,18hl/ha).

James Suckling Top 100 wines of South Africa – South African Report 2023

95 Points - Tim Atkin MW South Africa 2023 Special Report

93 Points - James Suckling

95 Tim Atkin MW, South Africa 2023 Special Report

Ever the class act, Hamilton Russell's Chardonnay is in a rich vein of form right now. Using only 5% malolactic because of the warmer year, this is fresh, layered and detailed, with perfumed 23% new wood, notes of brioche and lemon butter and a stylish, stony finish. Concentrated without being heavy in any way.

Jonathan Ray, The Spectator, March 2023

So if you’re interested in nabbing the finest Chardonnay and Pinot in all the Cape, then get your blooming skates on. And that’s no hyperbole: the 2021 HRV Chardonnay was named Chardonnay of the Year and awarded five stars in 2023 Platter’s by Diners Club South African Wine Guide. The 2022 Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay is a worthy successor to said wine, full of citrus, white peach and just a hint of buttery toast. It’s concentrated and restrained and while hard to resist now, it’ll blossom into something truly majestic.

David Lawrason, October 2023

Wine Align, Ontario, Canada, writers were asked, "If you could buy only one wine from the VINTAGES September 23 release, which one would it be and why?” From a pre-eminent chardonnay producer in South Africa - located in the idyllic Hemel-en-Aarde Valley very close to the seas of Walker Bay - this Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2022 is a big, firm, balanced and detailed wine. The nose is fairly generous and very complex with peach/pear, hazelnut, brown spice, lemon wax. It is quite full bodied, hefty and well balanced within its largesse ….. Excellent to outstanding focus and length. Will age a decade or more if you wish, but open any time.

92 Vinous, September 2023

The palate is taut and fresh with a lovely, slightly waxy texture. The oak is nicely integrated, quite linear and tensile in style, with ample weight toward the poised finish. This is a classy Chardonnay.

93 James Suckling, December 2023

This has a lovely nose of cedar, grapefruit, lemon rind, apricot stones and tarragon. Salted butter. It's medium- to full-bodied, deliciously saline and creamy, with a long and elegant finish.

John Szabo, Wine Align, Canada, March 2023

This could well be one of the finest chardonnays yet from this pioneering Hemel-en-Aarde estate, up there with the best from the southern (and northern) hemispheres. I love the creamy texture framed by saliva-inducing acids, and the exceptional length. Drink or hold 4-6 years.

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