Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2016

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93
This small production beauty from South Africa has the elegance, acidity and balance reminiscent of a great white Burgundy, coupled with the concentrated, ripe juicy fruit of a New World Chardonnay. Look for grilled hazelnut, fig and pear tartine aromas and flavors, and fresh minerality on the finish. This is quite rich and concentrated yet bright and thirst quenching. We visited the estate during our South African tour and met owner Anthony Hamilton Russell. He is certainly producing world class wines at his family's estate. Under 5000 cases are made of this Chardonnay in each vintage and it has become a critic darling. Serve with coconut crusted shrimp, mango chicken, buttery lobster dishes, halibut with beure blanc sauce or creamy cheeses such as Delice de Bourgogne and Fromage d'Affinois. The 2010 and 2015 vintages were Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of the Year.
Category White Wine
Varietal
Country South Africa
Region Walker Bay
Brand Hamilton Russell
Alcohol/vol 13.2%
  • wa93

Wine AdvocateThe 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.

Neal Martin, April 2017

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