Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2015
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|Region||South Africa, Walker Bay|
Top 100: 2016, Rank: 11. Designation: Highly Recommended. Ripe and rippling with tension, featuring Jonagold apple, white peach, mirabelle plum and honeysuckle notes coiled at the core. Accents of heather and hazelnut extend slowly through a citrus oil- and mineral-edged finish. Best from 2017 through 2022. 2,700 cases imported.
Clean, bright and focused, this is currently showing its youth, though with great promise to continue to mature and flesh out with another couple of years. Notes of yellow apple, beeswax, straw and honeysuckle abound on the nose, while flavors of orange oil and honeycomb flesh out the medium-weight palate, with great verve and lingering spicy elements through the close. It's approachable now, but should drink best from 2018-2021.
The 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.
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