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95 Points

I love this wine year after year, and I'd rather be drinking it than writing about it so I'll let the previous note stand. Breathing this in is like walking into an opium den for wine lovers. Satin pillows of fleshy black cherry invite you to lie back, close your eyes and let your senses roam. Surely one of South Africa's finest Pinot Noir producers! Hamilton-Russell leads the way in the country for cool-climate viticulture and racy, exciting wines. Sophisticated and complex, but extremely easy to drink. Lavish fleshy ripe cherry aromas and flavours yet not simple or sweet. Complex, elegant and layered South African Pinot Noir from a master producer. Some dark spice on the finish. Silk texture. Chapter three of my second book (Unquenchable) includes a visit to this winery and dinner with the brilliant Anthony Hamilton Russell. This is easy to mistake for a top shelf Burgundian Pinot. 

July 2018

About Natalie MacLean

To fund her late-night vinous habits, Natalie MacLean holds down day jobs as a wine writer, speaker and judge. An accredited sommelier, she is a member of the National Capital Sommelier Guild, the Wine Writers Circle and several French wine societies with complicated and impressive names. Funny, brainy and unapologetically tipsy, her goal in life is to intimidate those crusty wine stewards at fine restaurants with her staggering knowledge. Natalie's book Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass chronicles her last three years sipping, spitting and slogging her way through the international wine world to visit some its most evocative places and to meet some of its most charismatic, obsessive and innovative characters. The book has been described as A Year in Provence meets Kitchen Confidential then goes Sideways. Red, White and Drunk All Over was recently chosen the Best Wine Literature Book in the English language at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. The competition receives more than 6,000 books from 60 countries each year. The awards were created at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany ten years ago to reward those who "cook and drink with words." The book also won the Culinary Literary Book Award in the Cordon d’Or international culinary arts competition and was nominated for the Evelyn Richardson Prize for Non-Fiction at the Atlantic Book Awards. At the World Food Media Awards in Australia, Natalie was named the World's Best Drink Writer. The competition received more than 1,000 entries. An international and independent panel of 47 food and wine experts selected her from a short-list of 14 nominees from the U.S., Canada, U.K., New Zealand and Australia. Natalie has also won four James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards for her writing about drinks, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award, in memory of one of America's greatest food writers. This award was given out at the end of the ceremony for work of literary merit. She was also nominated for this award in 2005. Natalie has also won an unprecedented six Bert Greene Awards for excellence in food journalism, presented by the International Association of Culinary Professionals, five awards from the American Association of Food Journalists, four from the North American Travel Writers Association and three honorable mentions at the National Magazine Awards.