Barberry Garden

A wine corner in a crazy world

More

A taste of Crystallum

·

EN

·

Boris Buliga

A range of wines from a winery in Walker Bay, South Africa.


Crystallum, a boutique winery in Walker Bay, South Africa, was established by the third generation of the Finlayson family, brothers Andrew and Peter-Allan. Their father, Peter Finlayson, is celebrated for pioneering Pinot Noir winemaking in the Hemel-en-Aarde region. The winery, founded in 2007, continues this legacy, focusing on crafting premium Burgundy varietals - Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The winery is renowned for its approach to winemaking, which merges traditional Burgundian methods with New World vineyard practices. The emphasis is on producing single-vineyard wines, reflecting the unique characteristics of each site. Their method involves using more whole clusters (especially for whites) in fermentation and minimizing oak ageing, a practice that enhances the wines' complexity and terroir expression.

Today, we have an opportunity to taste a few bottles from this relatively small winery.

WinePlace
wavg
sdev
fav
price
QPR
🥉 3rd4.00000.00000
2,000 UAH
1.0000
🏅 5th3.93750.03362
1,075 UAH
2.0329
🥈 2nd4.02250.00610
1,085 UAH
2.2884
🥇 1st4.04080.04694
1,085 UAH
2.3527
🥇 1st4.04080.00672
998 UAH
2.5578
🏅 6th3.84080.10620
1,358 UAH
1.3945
🏅 4th3.97140.03881
1,390 UAH
1.6540

Walker Bay

The Walker Bay region, home to Crystallum, is one of South Africa's coolest wine-growing areas, greatly influenced by its proximity to the ocean. This maritime climate, characterized by long, sunny summers and cool breezes, is ideal for the slow ripening of Burgundian grape varieties. The result is a balance of acidity and sugar, essential for the nuanced flavours in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The region's varied soil types, from shale to clay, contribute further to the complexity and depth of the wines produced here.

Walker Bay's suitability for Burgundian grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is not just a matter of climate but also a testament to the visionary efforts of local winemakers. The Finlayson family, with their deep understanding of these varietals, has been instrumental in showcasing the region's potential. The wines of Crystallum stand as a testament to the unique combination of terroir, climate, and skilled winemaking, marking Walker Bay as a distinguished wine-producing region on the global stage.

Crystallum Peter Max Pinot Noir 2022

Type
red still, dry
Region
WO Western Cape, South Africa
Producer
Crystallum
Vintage
2022
Grapes
Pinot Noir
Alcohol
13.5
Sugar
2.8
Price
1075 UAH
Crystallum Peter Max Pinot Noir 2022

This wine secured the 🏅 5th place in our wine tasting lineup.

The inaugural vintage of this multi-vineyard Pinot Noir blend pays homage to its origins through its name, derived from the first names of the initial growers, Peter and Max. Despite the evolution of its fruit sources over time, the name persists as a tribute to the wine's roots. The crafting philosophy of this blend is rooted in the harmonization of distinct batches, each contributing unique characteristics to create a complex, cohesive whole. This approach reflects a meticulous blending process, aiming to produce a wine that transcends the individual qualities of its components, embodying a synergy that elevates the final product.

This wine is naturally fermented, with 50% of the fruit de-stemmed and the remainder left as whole clusters. The fermentation takes place in small stainless steel tanks, and during active fermentation, extraction is minimized. The wine spends a total of four weeks on the skins. Post-fermentation, it is aged in French oak barrels for 11 to 16 months before bottling.

Crystallum Peter Max Pinot Noir 2020

Type
red still, dry
Region
WO Western Cape, South Africa
Producer
Crystallum
Vintage
2020
Grapes
Pinot Noir
Alcohol
14
Sugar
2.9
Price
1085 UAH
Crystallum Peter Max Pinot Noir 2020

This wine secured the 🥈 2nd place in our wine tasting lineup.

Just like 2022, the 2020 is naturally fermented, with 50% of the fruit de-stemmed and the remainder left as whole clusters. The fermentation takes place in small stainless steel tanks, and during active fermentation, extraction is minimized. The wine spends a total of four weeks on the skins. Post-fermentation, it is aged in French oak barrels for 11 to 16 months before bottling.

Crystallum Peter Max Pinot Noir 2018

Type
red still, dry
Region
WO Western Cape, South Africa
Producer
Crystallum
Vintage
2018
Grapes
Pinot Noir
Alcohol
13.5
Sugar
2.4
Price
1085 UAH
Crystallum Peter Max Pinot Noir 2018

This wine secured the 🥇 1st place in our wine tasting lineup.

Made almost like 2022 and 2020. The key difference is that more fruit (70%) is de-stemmed. The fermentation takes place in small stainless steel tanks, and during active fermentation, extraction is minimized. The wine spends a total of four weeks on the skins. Post-fermentation, it is aged in French oak barrels for 11 to 16 months before bottling.

Crystallum The Agnes Chardonnay 2022

Type
white still, dry
Region
WO Western Cape, South Africa
Producer
Crystallum
Vintage
2022
Grapes
Chardonnay
Alcohol
13
Sugar
2.8
Price
998 UAH
Crystallum The Agnes Chardonnay 2022

This wine secured the 🥇 1st place in our wine tasting lineup.

The Agnes Chardonnay is a tribute to Agnes Floyd, the great-grandmother of the winemakers, known for her robust character and the distinction of being one of the first women in Cape Town to have a driver's licence. This Chardonnay, a blend from multiple vineyards, is crafted to mirror Agnes' resilience and strength, with each contributing vineyard adding complexity to the wine.

The grapes for this wine are carefully selected from the Hemel-en-Aarde and Overberg regions. In the winemaking process, the whole grape clusters are transferred directly from harvesting to the press, with the juice then moved to a settling tank. The wine undergoes natural fermentation in 228 and 500-litre French oak barrels, as well as in larger foudres, and is aged in these vessels for 9 months prior to bottling.

Crystallum Ferrum Chardonnay 2022

Type
white still, dry
Region
WO Overberg, South Africa
Producer
Crystallum
Vintage
2022
Grapes
Chardonnay
Alcohol
13.5
Sugar
2.3
Price
1358 UAH
Crystallum Ferrum Chardonnay 2022

This wine secured the 🏅 6th place in our wine tasting lineup.

The Ferrum Chardonnay is a single-vineyard wine produced by Crystallum from their estate at Shaw's Mountain, located just outside the Hemel-en-Aarde region near Hermanus. The grapes are whole-bunch pressed. Following an overnight rough-settling, the juice is transferred to barrels for fermentation. The fermentation process occurs spontaneously, and the wine is then aged over a period of 10 months in 300 and 500-litre barrels. To enhance its complexity and depth, 20% of these barrels are new oak.

Crystallum Ferrum Chardonnay 2020

Type
white still, dry
Region
WO Overberg, South Africa
Producer
Crystallum
Vintage
2020
Grapes
Chardonnay
Alcohol
13.5
Sugar
2.3
Price
1390 UAH
Crystallum Ferrum Chardonnay 2020

This wine secured the 🏅 4th place in our wine tasting lineup.

Made made in pretty much the same way as the 2022. The key difference is that the wine is aged in 2600L Foudre instead of smaller barrels.

Resources

Raw scores

WineYaroslav MJulie BOleksandr RAlina ShDmytro DDimitry GBoris BMaryna YuDaria B
4.004.00
4.103.803.904.103.903.504.003.80
4.103.904.004.104.004.104.003.90
4.104.103.904.304.204.504.004.403.80
4.104.004.053.904.104.204.004.104.00
4.303.803.503.203.903.503.804.203.80
4.303.903.903.704.104.003.904.303.80