Hannes Storm was, for a decade, winemaker at Hamilton Russell, until he left in 2014 to do his own thing. Well, this is the first chance I’ve had to try one of his own wines, and it’s a very assured Pinot from Hemel-en-Aarde. He’s making two Pinot Noirs, and this one is from a 2 hectare vineyard on a steep northeast facing slope in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, planted on low-vigour, stony, clay-rich shale soils.
It’s a complicated but wonderfully promising wine. It doesn’t deliver sweet, perfumed fruit from the off: this is a wine that is tightwound and somewhat burdened by its latent potential if you open it now. But I think there’s something special here, and I’d cellar it for five years before opening, and then track its progress after that.
Storm Pinot Noir ‘Vrede’ 2012 Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, South Africa
Vivid, fresh and vibrant with a slight lift to the berry and black fruits nose, with some roast coffee notes. It’s a bit closed and reductive. The palate is vivid and juicy with savoury bite, as well as raspberry, cherry, damson and bitter plum fruit. There’s structure here: it’s a dense with with freshness and a distinctive savoury spiciness. Give this time. 93/100
UK agent is Indigo Wine
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