Hamilton Russell Chardonnay is a white wine produced in the Hemel en Aarde Valley, a wine region that is part of the coastal wine region of Walker Bay in the Western Cape. Is is widely recognised as being one of the very best South African Chardonnays – sadly there is not much to go around!
Hamilton Russell Vineyards is located just behind the old fishing village of Hermanus and is the most southerly wine estate in South Africa. The Estate specialises in producing highly individual, terroir driven Pinot noir and Chardonnay, which are widely regarded as the best in South Africa and among the best in the New World. The estated was founded by Tim Hamilton Russell, who purchased the undeveloped 170 hectare property in 1975, after an exhaustive search for the most southerly site on which to make South Africa’s top cool climate wines from a selection of noble varieties. His son Anthony Hamilton Russell, who took over in 1991 (finally buying the property in 1994), narrowed the range to Pinot noir and Chardonnay only and registered Hamilton Russell Vineyards as an Estate. Extensive soil research initiated in 1994 identified 52 hectares of stony, clay-rich, shale-derived soil as optimal for the individual, origin expressive style they aim for and all plantings have now been limited to this soil type.
Hamilton Russell Chardonnay is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. After hand-harvesting and pressing 100% of the juice is barrel fermented in 228L French oak barrels. The wine is aged in 228L French oak barrels from Francois Freres cooperage for 9 months. They are a combination of 29% first fill, 41% second fill, 29% third ball and 1% fourth fill. These are a mixture of medium, blonde and medium light toasted. Only 4090 cases produced.