Crystallum Peter Max Pinot Noir 2018  £26.95


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CRYSTALLUM PETER MAX PINOT NOIR 

This small winery was established in 2007 by brothers Peter-Allan and Andrew Finlayson their father, Peter, was a pioneer in the production of cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir at Bouchard Finlayson, so after university it seemed the natural thing for the boys to return home and source some fruit from the Hemel-en-Aarde valley to start their own label. Crystallum is now one of the most highly regarded wineries in South Africa, yet the Finlaysons are determined to make even better wines. Peter-Allan has sourced fruit from some new vineyards, while winemaking has evolved. All of the wines are now wild fermented and new oak has been reduced to help the bright fruit shine through.

Peter Max Pinot Noir is crafted from fruit sourced from four vineyards, three in the Hemel-en-Aarde area of Walker Bay and a new vineyard on a high altitude, inland site.

A dry, hot season resulted in an above-average yield which was expected due to the second consecutive very dry season. However, cooler nights throughout the growing season and the absence of significant heatwaves during harvest time buffered the effect of the dry conditions to some extent. The vines were healthy and produced concentrated small grapes, which resulted in wines with good acidity and low pH.

Fruit was hand-picked and delivered to the cellar in small crates. Approximately 70% of the grapes were de-stemmed and added to the remainder, which were left as whole clusters. The temperature of the must was then lowered for a few days, after which the tank was allowed to warm up for fermentation to begin. This fermentation regime keeps extraction to a minimum, while allowing for a slow, extended maceration period of four weeks. No commerical yeasts were used for fermentation. The wine remained in 228 litre, lightly toasted French oak barrels for ten months, 15% of which was new. The wine was bottled after a light filtration.

A wonderfully elegant and perfumed Pinot. The nose is floral and fragrant, with strawberry tea and sweet spice dominant. The palate offers plenty of fruit and texture, while maintaining a wonderful vibrancy and freshness.

 

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