Gabriëlskloof new releases
By Christian Eedes, 15 June 2020
While Peter-Allan Finlayson limits himself to working with Chardonnay and the “heartbreak grape” that is Pinot Noir when it comes to his own label Crystallum, he is able to utilize just about everything else when it comes to the Landscape Series from Gabriëlskloof , the Bot River cellar owned by his father-in-law Bernhard Heyns and here the top-end wines mostly seem to go from strength to strength. Tasting notes and ratings for the new releases as follows:
Gabriëlskloof Landscape Series Magdalena 2018
Finlayson is intent on positioning this wine more as a straight Semillon and less as Bordeaux-style white blend and hence the Semillon now makes up 85% of the blend (mainly from Franschhoek but also containing some own fruit) plus 15% Sauvignon Blanc. The nose is subtle and elusive with notes of citrus, stone fruit and some leesy character The palate is focused and super-intense with a great line of acidity while the finish is long and dry. Less esoteric than before? That’s open to debate but this is wonderfully well realized.
CE’s rating: 96/100.
Gabriëlskloof Landscape Series Syrah on Sandstone 2018
50% whole-bunch fermentation. The nose is quite heady with notes of lily, rose, red and black fruit, pepper and fresh herbs. The palate meanwhile is marked by excellent fruit density, fresh acidity and nicely grippy tannins. This has an opulence about it that perhaps the previous vintage did not and is just about irresistible.
CE’s rating: 96/100.
Gabriëlskloof Landscape Series Syrah on Shale 2018
50% whole-bunch fermentation. Red berries, white pepper and dried herbs on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied with pure fruit, a lovely gentle acidity and fine tannins. Very elegant, this is not as concentrated and tannic as the previous vintage.
CE’s rating 95/100.
Gabriëlskloof Landscape Series Cabernet Franc 2018
Finlayson picks ever earlier in an attempt to gain greater refinement but this appears a little underdone. A herbaceous top note before red berries. Light bodied with vibrant acidity and fine tannins, this tends to towards being a little thin and severe.
CE’s rating: 90/100.
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