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South Africa

 

Hamilton Russell Chardonnay

One of the most southerly wine Estates in Africa, this Pinot noir and Chardonnay specialist pioneered viticulture in the cool, maritime Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation.  This is the first 100{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} organic harvest for the Chardonnay.  The winemaker called 2015, “an excellent vintage for Chardonnay.”

The wine ferments and ages for 9 months in a mix of French oak barrels – mixed toast levels and mixed sizes of barrel.  Yields for the Chardonnay are extremely low, which lends concentration and extract to the finished wine.

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

94 Points, Wine Spectator, “Rippling with tension, featuring Jonagold apple, white peach, mirabelle plum and honeysuckle notes coiled at the core. Citrus oil– and mineral-edged finish.”

$34.99

 

A.A. Badenhorst Family Red Blend 2013

Adi Badenhorst, who gained a reputation as one of South Africa’s most talented winemakers during his years at Rustenberg, began his own label with wines from purchased fruit in 2006, then bought his estate in Swartland in 2007.  The winery is located on a mountain range which is a granite outcrop and three distinctive types of granitic soil are found on the property.

Badenhorst works in a decidedly low-tech, non-interventionist style.  They farm organically whenever possible.  Grapes are never de-stemmed.  Wines ferment in open-top fermenters and rest in a mix of large, used oak foudre and cement tanks.

Neal Martin, from the Wine Advocate, gave the wine 93 Points and described:

The 2013 Family Red Blend consists of 68{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} Shiraz, 18{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} Grenache, 10{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} Cinsault and 4{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} Tinta Barocca. It has a composed and refined nose, keeping to itself at first but then opening and delivering red plum, wild strawberry, and animally scents mixed with rosemary and oregano. The palate is medium-bodied with a refreshing line of acidity……beautifully controlled, fine tannins and a sense of symmetry and sophistication towards the finish. This comes highly recommended.

$39.99

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