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Country of Origin & Region


South Africa, Hemel-En-Aarde Valley

Hamilton Russell

Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2016

Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2016 one of the world's finest Chardonnay - have they done it again?

Tasting Notes

At this stage of its young life there’s a top note of vanillin and oak spice that flows through this wine from start to finish with a subtle nutty component underneath, along with honey glazed pear and a citric edge cut to the fruit tones on the nose. The palate is clean with a delineated precision to the fruit with nice underlying acidity and some citric lime and pear and apple fruit flavors touched up with light spice and focusing minerality on the finish. Good length and vibrancy says this should only get better and better and pick up some flesh with a year or two more bottle age and then drink impressively for a few more years after that. In keeping with the wine’s track record this should get some strong critical reviews down the road.

Food Accompaniments

Chicken, fish

Awards, Reviews and other Notes

93 pts James Suckling August 2017
This is a chardonnay that bridges the gap between Old and New World. Wonderfully (but not overly) ripe stone fruit meets with green apples, yellow plums and satsumas. On the palate it's delicious and so refined. Full-bodied but fresh and succulent. Drink now.
93 pts Wine Advocate Issue #230 April 2017
The 2016 Chardonnay underwent less malolactic than other vintages to preserve the acidity, around 40%, and the wine matured in 38% new oak for nine to ten months. Yields were very low at around 20 hectoliters per hectare. It is much less rich than the 2015, yet it displays finer delineation and perhaps more mineralité. The palate is very well balanced with superb tension, brimming full of energy and fanning out with nutmeg and smoked walnut notes towards the somewhat feisty finish.
93 pts Wine Spectator Insider 5/31/17
Lush, with creamed yellow apple, quince and white peach flavors forming the core, while buried quinine and verbena notes add detail and length. Drink now through 2022
93 pts Vinous / Antonio Galloni
Bright, light yellow. Highly perfumed but tight nose hints at citrus peel, nectarine, white flowers and stony minerality. Lemony and tight but deep, with terrific salty mineral energy giving punch to the pear and lime flavors. Distinctly backward, savory Chardonnay with lovely subtle, rising length and grip. This wonderfully elegant, taut, seamless wine needs time to blossom and put on weight. Classically tight and austere for this bottling.
95 pts Tim Atkin MW 2017
Emul Ross used less malolactic in 2016 because of the lower levels of natural acidity, but otherwise this wine follows a very succesful 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. 2018-28

Winemaker Notes

A tight, minerally wine with classic Hamilton Russell Vineyards length and complexity. Unusually prominent pear and lime fruit aromas and flavors 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

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Chemical Analysis




13% alcohol by volume




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Southern Hemisphere Wine Center
5973 Engineer Dr.
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
(800) 504-9463