Tesselaarsdal: a brilliant new Pinot Noir from South Africa

tesselaarsdal pinot noir

There’s a nice story behind this Tesselaarsdal Pinot Noir, which I drank with Greg Sherwood and Higgo Jacobs on Saturday. It’s made by Berene Sauls, who is an employee of Hamilton Russell Vineyards in Hemel-En-Aarde. The wine is made at Hamilton Russell with the assistance of winemaker Emul Ross (who recently joined from Chamonix), and the 2015 is debut vintage.

Berene named the wine after the historic Overberg farming hamlet of Tesselaarsdal, not far from the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge wine appellation (where the grapes were sourced). She was born here, a descendant of the freed slaves who were bequeathed the land by former East India Company settler, Johannes Tesselaar in 1810.

We tasted the wine blind in the company of two other very fine (non-South African) Pinot Noirs, and we were really impressed with its elegance, finesse, pale colour and savouriness. Here’s my note.

Tesselaarsdal Pinot Noir 2015 Hemel-en-Aaarde Ridge, South Africa
13% alcohol. Aromatic and fine with lovely sweet red cherry fruit, white pepper and a hint of ginger on the nose. The palate is silky and fine with supple red cherry fruit. Such elegance, showing good structure and acidity. A brilliant debut vintage and it should age nicely, too. 94/100

Find this wine with wine-searcher.com

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