About this WINE
Crystallum Wines is a boutique wine operation founded in 2007 by brothers Peter-Allan and Andrew Finlayson in the Walker Bay wine region in South Africa. The brothers are third generation wine producers and sons of South Africa’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay pioneer, Peter Finlayson.
This is cooler-climate winemaking at its best – a combination of finesse and power. The lower temperatures in Walker Bay ensure a longer growing season and a greater accumulation of flavour, which makes the region one of the most exciting in South Africa for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Yields and, thus, volume available on the market is miniscule.
Walker Bay is a coastal wine district, located to the south-east of Capetown, near the town of Hermanus (of whale-watching fame).
Walker Bay has a cool, maritime climate. However vineyard virus and small scale production have prevented thsi wine region from competing effectively against the Pinot Noirs from New Zealand.
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.
Platter Wine Guide, wineonaplatter.com, Oct 2015