In a recent Decanter panel tasting of New World, single-vineyard Pinots, the 2018 Crystallum Cuvée Cinéma came out on top with 98 points. Out of the 100 wines tasted, it was the only wine to be rated ‘exceptional’. Released back in July, we have managed to secure another very small parcel. Available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Decanter judges say that for them, ‘a single vineyard is the New World version of a climat in Burgundy’ and singled out Hemel-en-Aarde and Elgin for producing ‘consistently high quality’ wines. This wonderful, finely-crafted Pinot best expresses Peter-Allan Finlayson’s vision and is firmly ensconced as one of SA’s best. The 2018 has attractive, rich notes over earthy complexity and a sumptuous, sensual palate.
‘These are some of South Africa’s finest Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. Attesting to that was the fine performance of his wine when served against the likes of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti… these wines are highly recommended, although quantities remain frustratingly small.’ – Neal Martin
We also have the other 2018 Crystallum cuvées available, all of which have done extremely well.
Crystallum, Cuvée Cinéma Pinot Noir 2018
Pleasing aromas of earth and vanilla, balanced and elegant with red fruit and violets. – James Doidge, Decanter, 97/100
Bonfire and classic SA on the palate; smoky bacon and darker red fruits, soft tannin and balance. It’s meaty, deep but all-in, with wonderful texture and handsome style. Fresh, new and exciting. – Roger Jones, Decanter, 98/100
Pure, clear and focused with attractive notes of red forest fruits, dried herbs and sweet spices. On the palate it is youthful and vibrant, with attractive savoury complexity. The overall structure is firm yet sophisticated. – Dirceu Vianna Junior MW, Decanter, 98/100
Crystallum, Mabalel Pinot Noir 2018
Transparent, pure, with tension from high-altitude Elandskloof origin. 2018 slow to unfold from initial intense freshness; succulent black & red cherry supported by gentle yet effective tannins. Both elegance & substance. 10% wholebunch, vs just 5% for 2017, 20% new oak. – Platter’s Guide, 5* (95/100)
Crystallum, Bona Fide Pinot Noir 2018
The pick of Peter-Allan Finlayson’s Pinot Noirs in 2018, this comes from the Vrede vineyard that also supplies fruit for one of Hannes Storm’s releases. With no 2019 to come, fans of this remarkable wine should stock up now. Plush, rich and showing the texture of its clay shale soils, this has considerable presence and depth, with 60% whole bunches adding extra structure and clove spice. 2022-30. – Tim Atkin MW, 96/100
Crystallum, Clay Shales Chardonnay 2018
Clay Shales comes from André de Lange’s vineyard at the top end of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Foudre-fermented, this is all about fruit, structure and texture rather than oak. Precise, focused and beautifully weighted, with beeswax, citrus and crème fraîche flavours. Delicious. 2020-26. – Tim Atkin MW, 95/100