Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2018
|Region||South Africa, Walker Bay|
"The crop was tiny in 2018 - half of the normal yield, according to Emul Ross - but the quality and style of this celebrated Chardonnay is as good as ever. Fermented in amphorae and 29% new oak barrels, with 40% malolactic, it's elegant, savoury and oatmealy. Citrus rather than stone fruit flavours predominate on the palate. 2020-26"-TA
The 2018 Chardonnay is 95% barrel-fermented and matured for nine months in 29% new oak, the rest used. It has a clean, fresh bouquet of enticing scents of lemon zest, orange blossom and grilled hazelnuts, and perhaps just a hint of brioche in the background. The palate is well balanced with a clean, crisp opening, spicier than I was expecting, and those nutty notes are flanked by a touch of dried orange peel toward the finish. Very fine.
A substantial white, with a big profile. The acidity gives this energy, delivering plenty of zest to the ripe pear and blood orange flavors, framed by hints of cream, tarragon and nutmeg. The vibrant finish leaves a mouthwatering aftertaste. Drink now through 2025. 4,090 cases made, 800 cases imported.
A shining golden-yellow color, this smells as rich as it looks, with assertive scents of ripe melon, peach preserves, orange oil and creamed corn. The palate is similarly rich and opulent, with more ripe stone-fruit and orange-oil flavors that are hit by a toasty, nutty overlay. There's just enough acidity to keep it all from feeling too rich or overdone, with a lingering wood-spice note to the finish.
The nose of the 2018 Chardonnay is full and rich, with an oaky core and subtle hints of reduction, expressing delicate fruit aromas of yellow apple, pear and lemon curd. The palate is clean, fresh and zippy with a good core of citrus. The finish is clean and crisp, with a soft oak expression that lingers on the medium to long finish. This is a beautiful and classic expression of Chardonnay from the Hemel-En-Aarde Valley, and it's sure to please any Chardonnay lover. 489,080 bottles made.