Storm Pinot Noir 'Vrede' 2012 (4.2/5)
Very young operation from Hannes Storm (winemaker at Hamilton Russell). Having worked for 12 years in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Storm felt in love with two local Grand Crus offering exceptional quality Pinot Noirs grapes.
The first Cru, 'Vrede', features low vigour, stony, clay-rich shale soil on steep northeast facing slope in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Climate is cool maritime with influence from the Atlantic ocean (2 miles from the vineyard).
The second Cru, 'Moya', is located in the upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley featuring granite soils with large pebbles in the topsoil. Climate is still cool maritime with the ocean being 5 miles away.
Storm's intention is to produce classy, site-specific, terroir-driven wines by means of meticulous viticulture and a practically hands off winemaking approach, striving to find the optimal point between New-world vibrancy and Old-World charme.
Tasting Notes (Vrede 2012): It appears medium+ ruby with good tears. Definitely New-World darkness for a Pinot Noir. On the nose it's clean offering, with medium intensity, dashing notes of raspberry and black forest fruits, high-pitched violets, iron, liquorice (I would not say tar, but this is the tarriest Pinot I have tasted), toasted tones from oak. On the palate is dry, with med(+) acidity, med(-) smooth tannins, medium alcohol, medium body with good layers of flavours and intensity on the mid-palate. I was expecting a bit more persistence, still good finish.