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Two Federal Wine Exclusives from Hamilton Russell
2010 Ashbourne Sandstone and 2016 Hamilton Russell Olive Oil
October 29, 2016
Our relationship with Hamilton Russell has been very strong in the 25 years since anthony Hamilton-Russell began offering his wines here. We are the only store in the country get these two small production rarities. They should arrive at the store next week.
This is the fifth vintage of what might be Anthony Hamilton Russell's least known wine. Where his Pinot Noir and Chardonnay quite effectively answer Burgundy, Ashbourne echoes Bordeaux, but fairly represents South Africa can at its best. Sandstone, like white Bordeaux, is mostly Sauvignon Blanc with an admixture of Semillon. Like finer white Bordeaux, it deepens and grows more complex with age.
But Ashbourne has a unique stamp. Its grapes come from sandstone, not gravel soils. Anthony adds some chardonnay to the blend, and most important, it is aged on the lees in amphorae, and sees no wood.
This makes it cool and smooth textured even when young, with Sauvignon Blanc notes that In the past I have found subtly stony moe than grassy. Devotees tell me that the 2007 is drinking wonderfully. Alas I drank the last of mine long ago.
I have not tasted the 2010. Neal Martin's Wine Advocate reviews have described a more New Zealand-like Sauvignon Blanc than the muted and evocative vintages I have tasted. I think you don't have to be a Sauvignon junkie to find this wine delicious and cellarable.
Neal Martin Wine Advocate "I have always liked the nose, a bit of a love/hate set of aromatics - pungent gooseberry, asparagus, nettle and dry gravel scents that soar from the glass. The palate is well balanced with lime and gooseberry up front, a touch of asparagus and nettle behind, nicely balanced with fresh pear on the finish. Very fine but don't go near if you dislike Sauvignon Blanc."
Special case of 6, $129, (21.50 per bottle)
18 cases of 6 available
I loved the Hamilton-Russell olive oil on a visit to the winery a few years ago, and begged Anthony and Olive to send me some on a wine container. But I made one mistake. I only took a bottle home and left its case in the store.
"Hamilton-Russell Olive Oil! Can I buy one?" too many inquisitive customers would ask.
So I was left with only a second bottle that I had squirreled away. I resolved never to make that mistake again. Further motivated by the people who came back for a second bottle I would and could not offer, I persuaded Anthony and Olive to send me enough to sell. What they could spare will not be enough, so grab some while you can.
Hamilton Russell's description:
"grown in the traditional way without irrigation and at very low yields, both in terms of kilograms per tree and oil yield per kilogram. Extreme care is taken to hand-pick the olives used for our oil at the stage of ripeness which results in a fresh, aromatic, full flavored oil with a peppery finish. A high percentage of sandstone-derived soils emphasize this fresh lifted fruit and cut-grass character while delivering a lighter more elegant palate structure. The percentage of clay grown olives provides additional structure and density to the oil."
Order by phone at 617.367.8605, or reserve here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please pass this on to any friends who are wine enthusiasts.
- Len Rothenberg