`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 first Pinot Noir to be produced in this valley.

Vintage Information

2015 was an excellent vintage. A very cold and wet winter was followed by a moderate and dry summer. This permitted advanced flavour development at low sugar levels.


Mabalel 2015 was fermented using only native yeasts and sees a much lower portion of the fruit kept as whole clusters (10%) than the other Crystallum Cuvees. The total time in tank was 25 days with a 14 day post fermentation maceration. The wine was then transferred to barrel (20% new) where it remained for 11 months before bottling.

Tasting Notes

Lighter and more delicate 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 2015
Grape varieties 100% Pinot Noir
Region Walker Bay, Hemel-en Aarde, Cape South Coast
Winemaker Peter-Allan Finlayson
Alcohol (ABV) 14%
Acidity 5.2g/l
Residual Sugar 1.9g/l
Wine pH 3.48