Peter-Allan Finlayson is a leader in producing some of the finest modern-day SA Pinots. His 2017 Crystallum Pinot Noirs are his most exciting and potent releases to date. His 10th vintage coincides with the highly-rated 2017 vintage. They exude a fantastic combination of both power and clarity and all 3 speak clearly of their place.
We are super excited by the 2017 Pinot Noirs from the Overberg appellations. Tasting some of the first releases earlier this year, it is clear that SA’s Pinot Noir juggernaut is set to escalate because of the maturing vineyards and a combination of exceptional vintage conditions together with the producers’ ever-growing skills.
First up, we tasted the Crystallum Mabalel 2017. Grown at an altitude of 700m, this special vineyard has shifted up a gear in 2017. The floral, lifted nose is complemented by fine, earthy notes and the trademark ethereal dried orange peel and long finish. The palate is noticeably richer and fuller than the previous vintages. Just delicious!
Next up, we tasted the Crystallum Cuvée Cinéma 2017 from the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge. This has always been the most classic of the 3 and is the most structured. The 2017 is super-refined with spice layered over tea leaf notes. The red fruit is wonderfully restrained and its fresh acidity supports the fruit-coated tannins. Again, we see added weight and gravitas in this vintage. Masterful.
Finally, the Crystallum Bona Fide 2017 – our favourite release of this cuvée to date. Brooding with earthy top notes, the 2017 is both rich and textured while maintaining a lithe sense of finesse. The most hedonistic of the bunch.
These 3 small-batch cuvées are in short supply but well worth collecting.
Crystallum, Mabalel Pinot Noir 2017 – R 485
Grapes from Elandskloof. 10% whole bunch fermentation. A properly complex nose showing red and black fruit, some musk, earth, spice as well as just a hint of reduction. The palate, meanwhile, is tightly wound with pure fruit and fine tannins, the finish long and savoury – intricate and refined. Alcohol: 14%. – Christian Eedes, 92/100
Crystallum, Cuvée Cinéma Pinot Noir 2017 – R 485
Grapes from Hemel en Aarde Ridge. 60% whole-bunch fermentation. Black cherry, plum and a certain ripe orange quality to go with some earthiness and a little reduction. Full bodied and quite forceful – dense fruit, fresh acidity and nicely grippy tannins. Comes across as rather decadent. Alcohol: 14%. – Christian Eedes, 92/100
Crystallum, Bona Fide Pinot Noir 2017 – R 485
Grapes from the Hemel en Aarde Valley. 60% whole-bunch fermentation. A slightly wild but entirely captivating nose – dark fruit, earth, spice, musk and fresh herbs all combine to good effect. Rich and broad but not listless – nice fresh acidity and tannic grip – while the finish is long and savoury. A lot going on. Alcohol: 13.5%. – Christian Eedes, 93/100