2012StormVrede2012 Storm, Pinot Noir, Vrede, Hemel-En-Aarde Valley, South Africa.
Hannes Storm spent 12 or so years at Hamilton-Russell making some of the finest South African Pinot and Chardonnay ever, and now we get a chance to try his own personal wines here in the States, his Storm label is now being brought in by Broadbent Selections, and it is a must have Pinot Noir for wine enthusiasts, I was completely blown away, and I had tried his wines before and had pretty high expectations, but still this 2012 Storm Vrede is as good as Pinot gets, from anywhere! Hemel-En-Aarde Valley is south of Cape Town and Stellenbosch, close to the cooling influence of Walker Bay and up the Onrus River set on Clay rich soils, not unlike the Cote de Beaune stylistically and I would say similar to Pommard for the Pinots, and Puligny for the Chards, though this Storm is not a Burgundy clone it has some elements that remind me of Comte Armand and even Henri Gouges, though it is truly it’s own wine with it’s own terroir markers. Hannes is certainly a talent, and his younger brother Ernst is making Storm Wines in California, for which I hear are exciting wines themselves, but this South African Pinot Noir is really something special and merits real attention and celebration, kudos to Hannes for crafting such an amazing and beautiful wine. The Southern Hemisphere can do Pinot, sites in areas like Central Otago N.Z., Mornington Peninsula, Aussie hot spot and Patagonia in Argentina all make superb Pinot Noir, but I think this part of South Africa still has the edge, especially after tasting this latest Storm Vrede, it has soul, detail, complexity and a glorious lingering finish, as well as firm tannins, vivid acidity and vigorous character. The 2012 Storm Vrede Hemel-En-Aarde Valley Pinot Noir, of which only 250 cases or so were made, starts with a perfumed mix of roses, violets and wild herbs, spice and mineral along with a slight reductive note, a touch of iron/game/flint before opening to a gorgeous palate of dusty plum, black cherry, mountain raspberry and balsamic dipped strawberry fruits, dried mushrooms, earthy loam, gravelly stones and a hint of bacon/wild boar, coffee bean, cedar and a play of cinnamon/herbal tea, licorice and tangy currant. The mouth feel is heavenly, with vibrant lift, but pleasing silky textures, this wine is a class act with a vast array of layers to cherish, it should drink well for another decade, though I would be hard pressed to wait as good as it is now, but I might consider another year or so in bottle, best from 2016 to 2023. This is as exciting as it gets for Pinot lovers, I highly recommend tracking some of this down, it would be easy, but so worth it!
($50 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

By admin