If you’ve never had South African Pinot Noir, this is the perfect introduction. Hamilton Russell led by winemaker and owner, Emul Ross has for over a decade led the pack out of South Africa in terms of quality. His bright expressions of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at Hamilton Russell launched HR into worldwide prominence and has earned the winery countless awards and 95+ reviews from just about every publication.
Even better, the Tesselaarsdal project is a collaboration between South Africa’s best winemaker in Ross and arguably the best up-and-comer in the country, his former Au-pair turned protege, Berene Sauls.
Berene’s story is nothing short of incredible. She grew up in the small village Tesselaarsdal, the same village where her ancestors lived as slaves for years. Through her work at Hamilton Russell, winning winemaking competitions and gaining a key wine placement in one of San Pellegrino’s top 50 restaurants in the world, she was able to finally realize her lifelong goal and buy land in her hometown.
The Tesselaarsdal Pinot Noir 2017 is flawless. I agree with Master of Wine, Tim Atkin who called this the best vintage yet of Berene Sauls’ Pinot Noir– a carefully woven, intricate Pinot Noir with harmonious notes of vibrant fruit and acidity. Atkin also compared it to Chambolle-Musigny, truly high praise for a wine born out of a small labor of love project on the Western Cape.
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95 Points (Wine of the Year), Tim Atkin
This is the best vintage yet of Berene Sauls’ Pinot Noir, made at Hamilton Russell by Emul Ross. Floral, nuanced and refreshing, it’s very much a Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge style, with gentle, fragrant raspberry fruit and bright acidity. A Cape take on Chambolle-Musigny. 2019-25.