Crystallum Bona Fide Pinot Noir 2022


Bona Fide is the Latin term for “In good trust” which refers appropriately to our relationship with the owners of the vineyards, the Lötter family, which extends back 30 years. It is only through a relationship based on complete trust that the resulting wine will do justice to this special site.

The vineyard is on the Vrede farm, in the Hemel & Aarde Valley at about 140m altitude.

The more spice driven wine, with nutmeg and cloves upfront and sweet sandalwood, tumeric and orange rind supporting the beautiful bright cherries. – Corlien Morris

The wine to drink 8-10 years from vintage – Peter Alan

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The final vintage of this wine is possibly the most powerful. Taut and dense, the nose shows intense fruit – notably strawberry, cranberry and sour cherry while tomato leaf, nutmeg, cinnamon, olives, light woodsmoke and moss deepen the complexity. The palate is equally coiled and decadent:  cocoa, black cherry and a hint of mint recall Black Forest cake. Deftly integrated tannin and fresh acidity will conspire with that dense core of fruit to support cellaring beyond 2035.


Fermentation occurred spontaneously with no commercial yeasts added. There was a 50% whole bunch component with the rest de-stemmed but left intact as whole berries. Total time on skins was five weeks whereafter the wine spent 11 months in French oak barriques. 20% new oak.

TECHNICAL ANALYSIS: ALC 13.82% | pH 3.66 | TA 5.4 g/L | RS 2.3 g/L

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Crystallum is a family-run and privately-owned winery based in the Walker Bay region of South Africa.

They specialise in the Burgundian varieties, working with the ideal conditions in and around the Walker Bay region. Their winemaking approach favours low intervention, with only native yeasts used for fermentation. Their Pinot Noirs are fermented in small stainless steel tanks and aged in French oak for 11-16 months before bottling. The Chardonnay is whole-bunch pressed and fermented in barrel where the wine remains for 11 months before bottling. All fruit is hand picked in small crates.

Brothers Andrew and Peter-Allan are the third generation of Finlayson winemakers and sons of the man who pioneered Pinot Noir winemaking in the Hemel-en-Aarde region. Andrew is an architect by training and Peter-Allan a student of philosophy and economics, but it didn’t take long for the lure of wine to take effect, with Andrew drawn to the vineyards and Peter-Allan to the cellar.

The company was founded in 2007 when it produced just over four thousand bottles of Sauvignon Blanc. The following vintage saw the introduction of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and Crystallum now produces these Burgundian varieties exclusively, making up its collection with multi-vineyard blends and single-vineyard wines.

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