Going down a Storm

Going down a Storm

Friday 11th September 2020
by Mark Dearing

Justerini & Brooks forms new partnership with South African producer Storm Wines

We are delighted to be the newly appointed agents for Storm Wines, from South Africa’s Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. For a number of years we have been buying and drinking these wines but it was not until we visited their small, family estate on home turf that we appreciated the attention to detail and passion that goes in to producing their seemingly effortless Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

As former head winemaker at Hamilton Russell, Hannes Storm has long been a respected viticulturist and winemaker. His hand in establishing new vineyards and consulting on other projects gave him the impetus to strike out on his own and leverage his experience to plant and acquire fabulously healthy vineyards in each of the three Hemel-en-Aarde wards: Valley, Upper Valley and Ridge. One of the few New Wave producers to work with exclusively estate-owned fruit, Hannes exploits these different elevations and soil types to produce wines of real authenticity and terroir expression. A sensitive hand in the winery allows each plot to sing, taking a Burgundian approach to winemaking that sees very gentle extractions and aging in 25-30% new French barrique. Favouring a fresher, early picked style, these genuinely cool climate wines stand out for their purity and precision, both red and white, encouraged by natural fermentations with no interventions whatsoever.

On top of their inherent quality, they are delightfully affordable. Delicious in youth they can also be cellared with confidence. Hannes’ first vintage was 2012, which was released in 2014, and those wines have developed beautifully in bottle. Moreover, with every passing year, as the vines get older, he appears to be able to tease out ever finer textures and finer, more mineral complexity. The only downside of this whole project is the volume! A proudly boutique winery, production rarely exceeds more than a few hundred cases of each wine. This, combined with friendly prices, makes them a tasty proposition for importers and customers around the world and, as such, they tend to sell out on release.

As we embark on this new partnership together, we are delighted to be releasing the 2019 Chardonnays and 2018 Pinot Noirs next week. The ‘19s have a racy purity to them and are as accomplished as many a fine white Burgundy. The ‘18s are succulent and more fruity in style but with zip and definition. They are sure to make new friends. We only hope that in the near future conditions will allow for a tasting in the UK, introducing Hannes Storm and his wonderful wines to all of our faithful customers. Watch this space.

Click here to shop the Storm Wines selection.