The Pinot Noir category seems to me to be one category where the quality hierarchy seems to be particularly fluid as individual producers wrestle with how best to interpret the famously difficult variety but new releases from the well-established Hemel en Aarde Valley producer Bouchard Finlayson are always cause for excitement. Tasting notes and scores as follows:
Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2013
More red than black fruit – cherry, raspberry and strawberry plus hints of vanilla and spice on the nose. Good fruit concentration, real verve and very fine tannins. Not without heft but shows composure and is youthful and tight at this stage.
Bouchard Finlayson Tête de Cuvée Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2012
A selection of the top 12 barrels of the vintage. More black fruit than red, some varietal perfume, spice and even pepper plus obvious but not unattractive oak. Good palate weight, bright acidity and tannins that can only be described as silky even though it’s not a word I like. Sumptuous and polished with real depth of flavour.
The cellar has also just made available a Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2015, the previous vintage being 2012.
Bouchard Finlayson Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2015
Includes 14.8% Semillon. A compelling nose of lime, grapefruit, white flowers and fresh herbs. Good fruit concentration and snappy acidity – super-tight at this stage. A little white pepper on the finish adds interest.