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Crystallum Clay Shales Chardonnay 2017

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When it comes to the Crystallum label, Peter-Allan Finlayson specializes in the two grapes traditionally associated with Burgundy, namely Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and his 2017s consisting of six wines make for a very accomplished portfolio (prices to be confirmed).

Crystallum The Agnes Chardonnay 2017
Grapes sourced mainly Overberg but also Greyton, Hemel en Aarde Ridge and Vermaaklikheid. Matured for eight months in French oak, 10% new. An inviting nose of pear, lime, lemon, orange and some yeasty complexity while the palate is generous with plenty of upfront fruit without being sweet or ingratiating. Total production: 16 872 bottles. Alcohol: 13.5%.

Editor’s rating: 91/100.

Crystallum Clay Shales Chardonnay 2017
Go hard on the Chard.

Crystallum Clay Shales Chardonnay 2017
Grapes from the Hemel en Aarde Ridge. Matured for 10 months in old oak. Pear, white peach and citrus plus a hint of reduction on the nose while the palate shows startling fruit purity – concentrated without being weighty, the acidity fresh, the finish long and pithy. Grows ever more precise with each passing vintage. Total production: 2 387 bottle. Alcohol: 13.5%.

Editor’s rating: 94/100.

Crystallum Peter Max Pinot Noir 2017
Wine Cellar price: R260
Grapes from various sites. 40% whole-bunch fermentation. The nose shows some rose petal perfume plus fresh herbs before red cherry. Plenty of juicy, pure fruit and very fine, soft tannins – impossible not to like. Total production: 16 769 bottles. Alcohol: 14%.

Editor’s rating: 90/100.

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Crystallum Mabalel Pinot Noir 2017
Wine Cellar price: R485
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. Total production: 3 578 bottles. Alcohol: 14%.

Editor’s rating: 92/100.

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Crystallum Cuvée Cinema 2017
Wine Cellar price: R485
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. Total production: 5 877 bottles. Alcohol: 14%.

Editor’s rating: 92/100.

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Crystallum Bona Fide 2017
Wine Cellar price: R485
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. Total production: 2 353 bottles. Alcohol: 13.5%

Editor’s rating: 93/100.

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