Read Decanter's tasting note for Crystallum, Clay Shales Chardonnay, Walker Bay, South Africa 2014, from 12 year old vines with complex fruit flavours.
Crystallum, Clay Shales Chardonnay, Walker Bay, South Africa 2014
Peter Allan Finlayson as big as his father in stature and certainly making as big a name for himself as a winemaker up and down the Cape’s varied terroirs.
Like a lot of his colleagues he is easing back on the oak, especially since 2011 to bring more terroir focus, fruit and minerality into his wines. And this is a case in point. Clay Shales is a single-vineyard just outside Hemel en Aarde with a high clay content and is the only single vineyard in the growing Crystallum portfolio.
Remarkably, the vines are just 12 years old and already producing incredibly fruit complexity. This is dry, elegant, nuanced, fresh and minerally with terrific expression of white peach, melon and cashew nut fleshed out with a savoury umami quality. The wine goes through full malolactic fermentation and then sees just 15% new oak with a mix of second and third fill barrels. It also has an extraordinary zip with a pH of 3.21.
Taster John Stimpfig
Tasted in South Africa in September 2015