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: 13.30%
  • Acid: 5.40 g/l
  • pH: 3.61
  • Residual Sugar: 1.70 g/l


  • Barrel Ageing: 10 Months


  • Wooding: 100% 228 litre French Oak Barrels
  • Barrel Fermentation: 100%
  • Tight Grain: 100%


  • 1st fill: 36%
  • 2nd fill: 36%
  • 3rd fill: 28%


  • Hamilton Russell Vineyards Toast


  • French Coopers: Francois Freres 100%


  • Yield: 2.49 tons/ha, 16.18 hl/ha
  • Production: 2265 cases of 12 bottles equivalent


  • Release date – March 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).

94 Points - Tim Atkin MW South Africa 2023 Report

93+ Points - Anthony Mueller, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

94 Tim Atkin MW South Africa 2023 Report

Rarely a Pinot Noir that one should be in a hurry to drink, the 2022 Hamilton Russell bottling needs time to develop and work its magic. This 2022 is comparatively serious and shuttered at the moment, with dark-fruited complexity, some clove spice from 10% whole clusters, grippy, sinewy tannins and stylish 36% new wood.

Jonathan Ray, The Spectator, March 2023

The 2022 Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir is yet another sublime example of what this estate can do with the so-called Heartbreak Grape. I honestly believe there’s no better Pinot in all South Africa. It’s tight, elegant and reserved with soft, seductive red fruit and just a touch of something spicy on the finish. I love it.

James Viner, Lifestyle UK, August 2023

Made from low-yielding vines, this is a superb South African answer to red burgundy. Savoury, earthy, subtly spicy, pure and delicious, this classy Pinot has bolshy length and will cellar beautifully – but my goodness it is fascinating to drink now. A gorgeous rendition.

93+ Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, Anthony Mueller, February 2024

Popping out of the glass with succulent dark red cherries and fresh potpourri essence, the 2022 Pinot Noir bursts with notes of wild herbs and turned earth. Medium-bodied, the palate offers flavors of black raspberry with a firm-gripping tannic edge. It shows seductive florals with spicy flavors and ends with a food-friendly finish. Just under 20,000 bottles were filled after 10 months of barrel aging in 36% new French oak.

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