Friday 16 June 2017
Some Fine Bottles From Crystallum
Quaffable Wines invited to a tasting of some bottles from Crystallum and the chance to meet Peter-Allan Finlayson, who turns South African Chardonnay and Pinot Noir into cool, refreshing, racy versions of these two grapes.
2016 was, according to Peter, a warm and dry vintage, but these bottles showed finesse and vivacity.
There is lot to love here.
Peter presented his wines with humour and flair, stressing that he wanted to work as little as possible and let the vines do the work...:-)
2016 The Agnes Chardonnay
Grapes from five different vineyards in the Hemel-an-Arde and Overberg regions. A cool, elegant nose with notes of yellow pears, gravel and some dried up lemon fudge. A tad laid back. Very good. With air some cap gun smoke aromas comes up from the glass.
The taste is light and refined with notes of ripe yellow apples, lemon cream and gravel. Fresh and fine. The finish tails of a bit too soon.
89p (tasted 2017/06)
2016 Clay Shales Chardonnay
This single vineyard wine displays deep, finely tuned nose with fine notes of ripe yellow plums, smoke, warm sand, expensive soap and freshly washed clothes. High, pure and really fine.
The taste is concentrated, lively and very finely structured with notes of lemon cream, gravel, smoke and pan fried nuts. A long finish with a cleansing acidity. This is really fine.
92p (tasted 2017/06)
2016 Mabalel Pinot Noir
All three tasted Pinot´s comes from single vineyards. The Mabalel has a high pitched, lightly smoky (the faintest touch of Islay whisky) nose with notes of red currants, earth, dried beets och glue. Interesting. A nature wine feeling over it in a Gamay style of way. But very good!
The taste is cool, seedy and fresh with notes of lingonberries, smoke, glue and red beets. A fine acidity. Medium bodied. Still very young of course.
90p (tasted 2017/06)
2016 Cuvée Cinema Pinot Noir
If one could compare the Mabalel with a Beaujolais, this is a fine Chambolle-Musigny! The nose is velvety yet rich with notes of ripe raspberries, wood smoke, a touch of chocolate and roses en masse. This is good. A lovely sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is medium bodied with elegance and finesse, with notes of strawberries, rosepetals, forest floor and smoke. Long and lingering. Stunning.
93p (tasted 2017/06)
2016 Bona Fide Pinot Noir
Keeping up with the Burgundy references, this would be a NSG or a Pommard - darker and denser on the nose with notes of cherries, moist forest floor, licorice and a hint of rich tobacco. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and taut with notes of chocolate covered cherries, damp earth, smoke and tobacco. A long, warm finish. The most looked up wine of the three. Needs time.
91p (tasted 2017/06)