Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay, 2010, Joubert-Tradauw Chardonnay, 2008

Hamilton Russell

From the cellar: In a back to back tasting we pulled an HRV Chard from the cellar (only two of the original six remain) versus a recent purchase of the JT, a non-filtered barrel fermented Chard. If you like South African whites, and they can be an acquired taste in their nearly primitive simplicity and deeply subtle nuances (witness some of the finest Chenin Blanc you will come across, should you make the trek south), nothing quite beats the Hamilton Russell. Every bottle we’ve had over the last two years gets better. Achingly complex, a delectable contradiction of hard and soft, steel and wood, caramel and lychee, just overwhelmingly interesting. But not to everyone’s taste perhaps. The JT has that homemade hand-hewed rough around the edges feel which begs another glass. Nutty and earthy but soft on the finish. And think of scoring a not-past-it-yet 2008 under $30 in YVR no less. To say we loved one rather than the other is unfair to both except, if it came down to picking teams, I call Hamilton Russell over.Joubert Tradauw


Long live the unique and time honored traditions which drive great South African vineyards. Oooh la la.  Editorial aside: Excepting the generic plonk so readily available in the export market.  SA wines take an inch of extra effort for the consumer.  I think, perhaps, that’s why they’ve never caught on in a big way in BC.  Lot’s of forgettable piss.


Price: No record of the half case of HR I bought a few years back. The 2013 is available at Marquis for $50. The Joubert – Tradauw is $30, also at Marquis. Such good taste Marquis!  I mean compare $30 for the JT to Au Bon Climat or Woodward Canyon or Ridge in Vancouver; half or less.


Market Liquidity: Old school goodness.

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