Good Things Come in Twos – at Southern Right too!
Experience 3.0 Hemel-en-Aarde Valley Wine 4.5

Good Things Come in Twos – at Southern Right too!

Friday 12 May 2017

Experience: 3/5 (Tasting Room closed)
Wines: 4.5/5

The Hamilton Russell dynasty does things in pairs. Hamilton Russell vineyards grow Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and produce 2 single variety Estate wines only. Ashbourne Wines, that border the Hamilton Russell property to the East and founded by Anthony Hamilton Russell in 1996, produces just 2 wines too. Both are specialist blends: one Sauvignon Blanc-led and the other Pinot Noir-led (the Sandstone white blend is set to be discontinued).

Southern Right also produces just 2 wines: a Sauvignon Blanc and a Pinotage. The 448 hectare property borders Hamilton Russell vineyards to the South-West and too was established (in 1994) by Anthony Hamilton Russell. The farm is a mere 2 kilometres from the ocean and the cool Walker Bay that is visited by the rare Southern Right whales that give the vineyard its name.

The Tasting Room was closed due to staff illness and so I had to double back up the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley to Hamilton Russell for tasting. I would have liked to have seen inside the Cellar and Tasting Room but the drive was short and so I was little inconvenienced. Few vineyards are bold enough to make 2 wines – Silvermist Organic Vineyard is the only other one that comes to mind – and the Southern Right wines scored highly.

I preferred, and bought, the Sauvignon Blanc. The wine showed excellent balance and complexity – and, notably, a firm, smooth, rounded finish – that is rare to find in a youthful 2016 vintage. The palest straw in colour and very watery in appearance, it packed on the nose. Green citrus aromas of lemon and lime balanced those of light grass and herbs.

The Pinotage was silky bright and deep pink to pale ruby in colour with a splash of purple. It could easily have been mistaken in appearance for a Pinot Noir. Fruity yet spicy – dark, unripe plums together with white to dark peppercorns – this wine had its own distinct character. I liked how the dry acidity balanced the integrated tannin. There are, frankly, so many poor quality Pinotage that I rarely find one I like. This was an exception and, but for my budget for the day, I could easily have bought a bottle.

Much as I like to sample a broad range of wine at a tasting, it is pleasant sometimes to experience a tasting that is less involved. Southern Right shows, like the neighbouring Hamilton Russell vineyards, that quality can be achieved without quantity. Good things, after all, come in pairs ……

Wines tasted (bought *):


2016 Sauvignon Blanc – R99*


2016 Pinotage – R225 FAVOURITE WINE

You Might Also Like

Lithos Wines Soar above Mountain and Forest

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Second Helping – and Tasting – at Oak Valley

Two Dam Good!

Back to the Future in the Berg of Paarl

Where’s the Grande in Provence?

Diemersdal has Six Appeal

Slave to the Rhythm at Solms-Delta

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

Hout Bay Vineyards – Simply the Best!

Golden Wines at the End of the Rainbow

“Swimming Pool” Wines for Now – or Leave until Later

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

Lost and Found at Lomond – 100s!

Water into Wine at Uitkyk

Mutual Attraction

Next Time to Taste at Hannay

Lemberg Punches Above its Weight

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

Wonderful Grapes at the Vineyard Hotel

Never too Early in the Morning for Wine Tasting!

Red and White Wines with Frog’s ‘Legs’

View from the E-Skaap-ment

Delaire Graff Wines Sparkle

Simonsig Excellence Today with a Traditional Legacy

Libby Would not have been Proud of Linton Park

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

Englishman Meets Mrs English at Classic Lanzerac

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

A Myth, a Princess, History and Destruction, 2 Names and 4 Styles – Shiraz with Pizzazz

Quality with Style in the Vineyard

Hard Graft without Grafts at Abingdon Wines – No Hail to the Monkeys

High Living on the Stoep Sipping Aged, Luscious Red Wines

‘Out of the Office’ at Groot Constantia

The Italian Collection at the Vineyard

I-own-a Wine Farm!

Well and Truly Oaked!

Real Wines in the Place of God

Altitudes with Wine!

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Robertson – Town by Name, Wine by Name

Opening the Book at Elgin Vintners

A Kleine Experience at Zalze

Surprisingly Good – and Not Only for the Red Bus Tourists

Virgin Whites Led Me into the Last Temptation

Intriguing and Confusing – An Enigmatic Experience

Rickety Tram Passengers at Rickety Bridge

South over the Hills in Elgin

Quantity over Quality at Durbanville Hills

Always a Favourite – Guaranteed to Delight

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

Peter Puts into Hermanus

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

Where Eagles Care

A Cracker and a Stormer at Paul Wallace

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

Heaven and Earth Create a Costly Pairing


  1. Learning about Wines with the Cape Wine Lovers is Super Cool – Cape Wine Lovers Society

    […] Charles Fox, Almenkerk, Iona and Elgin Ridge in the Elgin Valley, together with the tastings at Southern Right, Hamilton Russell, Bouchard Finlayson, La Vierge, Sumaridge, Ataraxia and Creation in the […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *