`Mabalel` Pinot Noir

Walker Bay, Hemel-en Aarde


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.

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Mabalel Pinot Noir is produced from an incredibly unique, high altitude vineyard. The site is 700 metres high and rests in what resembles a volcanic crater surrounded by some of the Cape's highest mountain peaks that are regularly covered by snow during winter. This is the second vintage of this wine and the first Pinot Noir produced in this valley.

Vintage Information

Intermittent rain during the growing and ripening season produced many more weeds than usual and gave some risk of downy mildew, but expert vineyard management meant that fruit quality was unaffected. Though harvest was a week later than in 2013, fruit and yields were very good, with thick skins and compact bunches.


Mabalel 2014 was fermented using only native yeasts and unlike the other Crystallum Cuvees, the fruit was completely de-stemmed. The total time in tank was 28 days with a 14 day post-fermentation maceration. The wine was then transferred to barrels, (30% of which were new, where it remained for 14 months before bottling. 2112 bottles were produced.

Tasting Notes

Lighter and more feminine than the other Crystallum Pinot Noirs. Dried flower petals, violets and bright cherry notes lead to an elegant and refined palate with very fine tannins and a fresh finish.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2014
Grape varieties 100% Pinot Noir
Region Walker Bay, Hemel-en Aarde, Cape South Coast
Winemaker Peter-Allan Finlayson
Alcohol (ABV) 14%