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Anthony + Olive Hamilton Russell
"One of the New World's leading producers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay." - Decanter. It would be fair to say Anthony and Olive Hamilton Russell lived up to the hype.
May 11, 2022
They are warm in person. Both their many fans and the newly converted were impressed with their thoughtful explanation of winemaking aims and practice.
Although young, the pinot noirs were the stars of the show., After opened a while, the 2020 South African sowed itself the most structured, the Willamette Zena Crown the fuller fruited.
A bottle of 2005 Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir from South Africa that I brought in from my cellar pointed to their future. It was precise and elegant and had taken on the golden patina of age that heretofore has been the exclusive province of burgundy. People loved it. It was a revelation to those with no experience with matured Pinot.
This was not to say that people did not like the whites. Both the Oregon and South African versions add a vital mineral component. The Oregon Maple Grove was the forward and fuller of the two, with the Hamilton Russell more elegant
The Sandstone Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon Chardonnay, was very pure and direct, a note, and very well priced.
There is little to say about the Ashbourne Pinotage. It showed somewhat lighter purer, and more ethereal than my description last week would have indicated. Nonetheless, it's sold out. There is no more until the next vintage arrives in a couple of months.
2019 Hamilton Russell Oregon Chardonnay Maple Grove; Aroma: wants air, very deep and concentrated, light, well-integrated oak, nicely rich; Mouth: dense, very well balanced, bright apple pear, supple, precise, subdued excellent integration of mineral and oak notes into very deep fruit, classic apple-pear, long lightly oak inflected finish; Excellent $79; six bottles or more $68
2019 Hamilton Russell Oregon Pinot Noir Zena Crown; Aroma: heady and deep, starts full with a blast juicy black cherry, later settles to rose petal earth and flint; Mouth: clean, racy even, strong but not overbearing fruit over a nice structure, to drink now, but promises a long future evolution; Excellent - Outstanding $92; six bottles or more $79
2020 Hamilton Russell Chardonnaydecades-long a quality beacon, thoughtful terroir expression & vintage barometer. 2020 alluring pear, citrus & starfruit with minerals & bright natural acid. Complex, balanced, alcohol laudably below 13%.John Platter Guide $43; six bottles or more $37
2020 Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir "the best young Pinot Noir release I've tasted from Hamilton Russell. Representing a subtle shift in style towards greater perfume and fruit, this is a detailed, finely judged blend of clones .., with svelte tannins, tidy acidity, rose petal top notes and skilfully integrated oak. Tim Atkin MW
"in a league of its own, surely the finest Pinot in all the Cape and nothing short of a grand cru if such a thing existed in South Africa. It's not just the wonderful fruit, nurtured by long, hot days and cooling sea breezes; it's the structure too. Like a fine Gevrey Chambertin it needs time but, goodness, it's a belter. The Spectator $53; six bottles or more $45
2019 Ashbourne Sandstone "a fine asparagus and nettle bouquet, becoming quite tertiary with aeration. The Sémillon imparts a light melted wax scent. The palate offers light tropical scents of guava and pineapple, then reins it in toward the finish, where a light saline note comes through. Fine. Neal Martin, Vinous $25.99; six bottles or more $21.99
2018 Ashbourne Pinotage Sold out
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