Tim Atkins – 95 points
Unlike the Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir in the fireaffected 2019 vintage, the Chardonnay was all made with estate fruit. Entirely whole bunch-pressed for the first time, it’s a commendably bright, elegant and focused wine with less malolactic (10%) than normal, pithy acidity, a hint of stone fruit sweetness and refined 27% new French oak. Something of a triumph against the odds.
A very fine Chardonnay produced in difficult circumstances given the fire/smoke issues in the Western Cape. Unlike the Pinot Noir, this has been produced with 100% estate fruit and is very successful. Bunches were pressed whole (rather than de-stemmed) to reduce any smoke taint risks. Very crisp on the palate with fine acidity and a touch of stoned fruit, this is concentrated, mineral and elegant. Very youthful, ideally give this another 12 months to blossom a bit more.