Crystallum Clay Shales Chardonnay 2015

By , 2 December 2016



Crystallum Clay Shales Chardonnay 2015

Mellow vibes.

Whereas there are some pretty dramatic examples of local Chardonnay out there at the moment, the Clay Shales Chardonnay 2015 from Peter-Allan Finlayson of Crystallum is about as unflashy as you can get. Grapes come from a vineyard over 300m high just outside of the Hemel en Aarde Ridge ward, the wine completing malolactic fermentation and seeing just 25% new oak.

On the nose, subtle notes of pear, citrus and peach plus a little dried herbs. The palate is rich and broad with soft acidity, nothing too obvious but entirely satisfying to drink. Wine Cellar price: R370 a bottle.

#WinemagRating: 90/100.

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5 comment(s)

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    Jeremy | 3 December 2016

    I am not the one writing endlessly what people should or should not be drinking. Surely you should have some idea.

    Jeremy | 3 December 2016

    I have been reading your articles since back in the days of Gulp! But do you not think that perhaps (like CNN who got it so wrong about Trump) that you are not getting what the market wants.

      Christian | 3 December 2016

      I may well be “not getting what the market wants” and would be extremely grateful if you could enlighten me as to what that is.

    Jeremy Moolman | 3 December 2016

    Christian, I would be interested to hear your opinion of your cancelled Joburg tasting.

      Christian | 3 December 2016

      I think Michael Fridjhon’s assessment of the situation ( is more or less accurate. Further reasons for Winemag’s lack of following in Gauteng that have been put to me is that 1) many of those who would have attended a Gauteng public tasting 10 years ago have semigrated to the Western Cape and 2) the ticket price of R225 per person and the format of a led tasting aren’t appropriate – too expensive/too highbrow for the casually interested and not expensive/exclusive enough for the jet set. I think we also need to accept that those highly involved in the subject of fine wine locally is a desperately finite market – I’m led to believe that the print-run for Platter’s has never been more than 40 000 copies while Wine magazine had a circulation of around 8 000 when it went out of print in 2011. I’m happy to report however that’s readership continues to grow, our users for the month to date at 17 142 and 31.28% of that being outside of South Africa. The world is ultimately a much bigger market place than Gauteng.

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