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Crystallum new releases

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That time passes surprisingly quickly is borne out by the fact Peter-Allan Finlayson’s first bottling of his boutique label Crystallum wines was back in 2007. Tasting notes and scores for the current release 2016s as follows:

Crystallum The Agnes Chardonnay 2016
Wine Cellar Price: R220

Grapes from five vineyards:  three in the general Hemel-en-Aarde area plus one in Greyton and another in Kaaimansgat. Matured for eight months in French oak, 10% new. Subtle lemon and orange plus some yeasty complexity on the nose. Sweet fruit offset by tangy acidity, nicely creamy in texture – very appealing.

Editor’s rating: 90/100.

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Crsytallum Clay Shales Chardonnay 2016
Wine Cellar Price: R400
Grapes from a Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge vineyard grafter over from Cabernet Franc.  Matured for 10 months in a new 2 600-litre foudre. Pear, citrus and a hint of struck match. Pure fruit and bright acidity, the wine appearing really tight and focused, the least funky this label has been for a while.

Editor’s rating: 93/100.

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Crystallum Peter Max Pinot Noir 2016
Wine Cellar Price: R235
Grapes from Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, Overberg and Kaaimansgat.  Matured for eight months in French oak, 10% new.  Plums, black cherry and a little musk on the nose. Relatively rich and ripe with moderate acidity and fine tannins. Entirely likeable but relatively simple.

Editor’s rating: 88/100.

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Crystallum new releases
Variations on a theme.

Crystallum Mabalel Pinot Noir 2016
Wine Cellar Price: R435

Grapes from Elandskloof. 20% whole bunch fermentation, matured for 10 months in 500-litre French oak barrels, 10% new. Red fruit, some musk and fresh herbs. Light bodied with fresh acidity and fine tannins. Very elegant.

Editor’s rating: 90/100.

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Crystallum Cuvée Cinema Pinot Noir 2016
Wine Cellar Price: R435

Grapes from Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge. 40% whole bunch fermentation, matured for 10 months in 228-litre French oak barrels, 30% new. Black fruit, violets and musk on the nose. Rich and full with seemingly quite moderate acidity and smooth in texture, the wine having a certain glossiness about it.

Editor’s rating: 91/100.

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Crystallum Bona Fide Pinot Noir 2016
Wine Cellar Price: R435
Grapes from Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. 50% whole bunch fermentation, matured for 10 months in 228-litre French oak barrels. Red and black fruit , some fynbos, earth and spice on the nose. The palate is rich but balanced – good concentration, bright acidity and some pleasant tannic grip on the finish. Very well judged – more forceful than many local examples but this entirely to its credit.

Editor’s rating: 92/100.

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