Cuvée Cinéma 2019 – Crystallum Wines.
South Africa has become one of the wine countries to watch, its wines improving year over year. The country and its winemakers have shown that they know what it takes to get the best out of their old vines, but are having equal success with newer planted vineyards. Crystallum is one leading wineries that showcases this.
Amongst the many varieties SA successfully brings forward there are two that stand out, particularly in the Hemel-en-Aarde region, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We have reviewed some fine examples by Creation Wines before, and today we are reviewing the Cuvée Cinéma Pinot Noir by Crystallum Wines.
About the Winery
Crystallum is a family-run and privately-owned winery based in the Walker Bay region of South Africa. More particularly in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley. Brothers Andrew and Peter-Allan are the third generation of Finlayson winemakers and sons of the man who pioneered Pinot Noir winemaking in this part of South Africa. Andrew is responsible for the work in the vineyards and Peter-Allan works the cellar.
The brothers focus purely on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay within this project, producing a collection of multi-vineyard blends and single-vineyard wines. All in small quantities of high quality.
About the Vineyard
Planted on the ridge of the Hemel-en-Aarde valley the Cinema vineyard was planted in 2009 and meticulously designed to produce the highest quality Pinot Noir. Scenes from a movie based on the life of Napoleon were shot on the Cinéma site the year before vineyards were introduced, which gave this wine its name. This Cuvée is a selection of barrels made from this top vineyard. The vines entering the second decade of their life are really maturing and developing nicely at this point.
Conditions here are pretty ideal. The South East-facing slopes welcome cool breezes from Walker Bay, which are complemented by the altitude and shade from the neighboring Babylon’s Toren mountain. The site’s proximity to the ocean adds a subtle salinity to the clay and shale soils.
About the Wine
Crystallum’s Pinot Noirs are fermented in small stainless-steel tanks and aged in French oak for 11-16 months depending on the vintage. This is a small production, bottle 4,336 out of 6,744.
In the glass a clear pomegranate colour, followed by a beautifully perfumed nose that combines red fruit (cherry and strawberry) with spices (liquorice and freshly roasted coffee). Youthfulness and liveliness paired with character here.
On the palette the fruit tones down a bit and mingles further with the spices, bundling juiciness and density. A nice body shows a wine that dances on its toes. Beautifully concentrated. The wine colours neatly within the lines, although it is always looking for the edges. Tannins are soft and gentle and the aftertaste is long with fresh acidity. A beautiful wine, good to drink now but should further develop within the next 5-8 years, adding more joy and deepness.
We bought this wine from our friends Proef in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, who have a selection of the Crystallum wines. If you are interested in more Crystallum wines we recommend our review of the 2021 The Agnes Chardonnay, which can be found here.
Price: ~ €42,50
Taste date: September 2022
Score: 94/100 DWA Score
Website: Crystallum Wines