93 pts Vinous/Stephen Tanzer May 2017
(13.5% alcohol; 39% new oak): Inviting bright red. Complex, musky, woodsy scents of dark cherry, raspberry, licorice, flowers, herbs and spicy underbrush; this has the soil complexity and light touch of a top Burgundy. Wonderfully brisk, dry, mineral-driven flavors of dark fruits, spices and herbs. Still a bit youthfully austere, saline and dominated by its acid/tannin structure but even today there's nothing out of place and the wine's seamless texture is utterly refined. Needs time in bottle to blossom, but I suspect this savory, tight-grained Pinot will last a long time. Boasts rare energy and subtle grip for South African Pinot Noir. Turned much more salty with 48 hours in the recorked bottle without losing its verve.
91 pts Wine Advocate Issue #230 April 2017
The 2016 Pinot Noir is the latest release from the estate for 2017. It was the second organic vintage in an initially dry season, rain towards the end. It has low conversion rate of alcohol compared to the 2015, the final figure 13.87%. "It was a challenging vintage," commented Anthony Hamilton-Russell, "due to oidium scares. Stylistically, I don't think it will have the same mass appeal as the 2015." It has a tightly wound bouquet with certainly darker fruit than the 2015, a touch of fennel and cooked Italian meat in the background. The palate is well balanced with sappy red berry fruit, more structured than the 2014 with a dash of black pepper on the linear finish. It deserves 3-4 years in bottle.
95 pts Tim Atkin MW 2017
The subtle changes that winemaker Emul Ross is making to the Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir, allied to some replanting of virused blocks, is bearing fruit. For me, this is the best recent vintage of the wine, showing fine, perfumed red berry aromas, subtle oak, some whole bunch spice, savoury, compact tannins and impressive concentration. 2019-24