Crystallum Clay Shales Chardonnay 2019


The Clay Shales Chardonnay is a single-vineyard wine from a site on the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge that is ideally located in a mountain shadow, at high altitude and near the ocean. The wine is named after the Bokkeveld shale and clay soils on which it is grown, which combine to provide the perfect base for a balanced, Grand Cru-rivaling wine.

A vintage that seems somehow more coastal than the ’18. On the nose, signature notes of lime peel, green apple, butterscotch and lemon meringue are complemented by steely flint and sweet jasmine. A pithy, beautifully textured palate with litchi, smoke and sea shells is leaner and more mineral than previous vintages, with a mouth-coating texture perfectly cut by bright acidity. This wine has a proven ageability and this vintage is no exception.

Whole-bunch pressed with no enzymes, SO2 or commercial yeasts added at pressing. After an overnight rough-settling, the juice was sent to barrel, with fermentation and ageing taking place over 10 months in a 2600L Foudre.

pH 3.38

alc% 13.51%

Total acidity 5.5 g/l

Total sulphites 61 mg/l

Residual sugar 1.6 g/l


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

We specialise in the Burgundian varieties, working with the ideal conditions in and around the Walker Bay region. Our winemaking approach favours low intervention, with only native yeasts used for fermentation. Our 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.

Additional Information

Peter Allan Finlayson