August 21, 2008
Hamilton Russell Vineyards (HRV) - I attended a wine evening last night at Casalinga Restaurant in Muldersdrift, hosted by Anthony Hamilton Russell. We started with a Southern Right Sauvignon Blanc, which was delicious, well balanced cool climate flavours. The Chardonnay followed, 2007 vintage, I must say that I was surprised by the mandarin character of such a young Chardonnay, not wholly unpleasant though, but as always a heavy serious wine that improves with food. The food being a seafood risotto, which was superb, I haven't tasted such nice fresh prawns in a while that was so well prepared (I was told afterwards that they were steamed).
HRV produces only Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the Sauvignon Blanc and the Pinotage belonging to the Southern Right stable. I was surprised by the Pinotage, it was far more gentle and elegant than I expected, and a serious improvement on previous vintages. Anthony said in his opening address that it was one of the most undervalued wines of RSA, and I tend to agree with him. Certainly on par with Kanonkop.
The Pinot Noir was as always very good, albeit too young. I have always found HRV Pinot to be a bit too hard for my personal preference, but the wine certainly opened up during the course of the evening and I would recommend that you decant it for a good while before consuming, I would dare to say that it might even be one of those wines that taste better on the second day.
The Gorgonzola Cheese warrants a special mention. Lovely creamy texture, and not too overpowering, made from goats milk and from a small little shop on the West Rand close to all the rose farms, wonderful.
And as always I had splendid company...