Hannes Storm Pinot Noir 2014

Hannes Storm Pinot Noir 2014
Returning to offering wines of this calibre, wines that offer such a level of value for money after a month that has been overrun by incessant chatter about Bordeaux, the associated price rises and attempts to justify high prices, is nothing short of a joy. Even more so, says Simon, when the wines are priced in Rand and not Euros!
 
I am really pleased to offer the new vintage of Hannes Storm’s outstanding, single vineyard Pinot Noir, ‘Vrede’ as well as a small number of cases of his other single vineyard production, ‘Moya’. You may recall we offered the 2013 Pinot Noir, ‘Vrede’ from Hannes Storm last year and since then have received a great number of glowing reviews from clients who purchased it and pulled the cork on a bottle.
 
Much is made of the quality of New Zealand Pinot Noir as well as its untapped potential; South Africa may not boast the same degree of high profile Pinot Noir oriented estates nor the same area under vine, but wines like the Storm duo can comfortably compete on qualitative terms.  Since our buyer, Vicki Stephens-Clarkson MW, flagged up these impressive Pinot Noir to me it is fair to say that I have become a convert. I mentioned it before but Storm will be an estate to watch. Burgundy mimics these are not; they are hugely impressive South African Pinot Noir in their own right. The 2014s are the product of a cooler than normal growing season that has resulted in a fine sense of precision.
 
It should be noted that this may be the third release of the Vrede Pinot Noir, but it is not a new vineyard.  Hannes Storm has accessed two fascinating established vineyards to craft his Pinot Noir. Vrede is a small, two hectare vineyard in the Hemel-en-Arde Valley, not far from the famed Bouchard Finlayson estate. Crucially it is only a mere two miles away from the Atlantic Ocean on a steep, northeast facing slope, which enjoys a cool maritime climate well suited to Pinot Noir.  The shallow soils may compare to Burgundy in terms of clay content, but the bedrock is solid shale rather than limestone. The Moya vineyard benefits from the same factors though it is from a northern slope in the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley at 150 metres above sea level and the soils differ from Vrede in that they are based on decomposed granite with a marked pebbly topsoil. These are low vigour, more marginal vineyards and it is this combination which offers great potential for fine Pinot Noir production.
 
2014 Pinot Noir, ‘Vrede’, Hannes Storm
£140 per 6 bottle case in bond

Showing a bright garnet hue in the glass, the aromas are subtle suggesting vibrant red summer fruits, scented and floral. The juicy succulent nature that seems typical of Hannes’ wines is in evidence once more lending energy to a palate of gently mouth-filling red cherry and loganberry. A hallmark of the Storm style is certainly the gentle expression of fruit; nothing harsh, no dominant barrique notes nor jarring edgy tannins, instead a real sense of poise and completeness. This will be enjoyable in its current youthful state, but I will be interested to see how it fares with time to evolve. (SL) Drinking 2016 to 2021. 
 
2014 Pinot Noir, ‘Moya’, Hannes Storm
£140 per 6 bottle case in bond

In contrast to the Vrede, this is darker in appearance with characters of dark, dusky fruits expressed on the nose. A more assertive structure is clear from the first taste, that same darker fruit hinted at on the nose is carried forward with notes of Morello cherry and damson. The juicy succulence and silky textural impressions remain true with a note of spice forming a contrast to the open charm of the Vrede. This shows fine depth and clarity and will perhaps offer a little more staying power than the Vrede and necessitate a touch more patienc. (SL) Drinking 2017 to 2022 

Just 450 cases of the Vrede are made and even less of the Moya so we are really pleased to have secured a small, continued allocation for Atlas clients.
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