Hamilton Russell Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 750ml 2017
|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.