Crystallum Clay Shales Chardonnay 2022


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.

Complex and arresting, this vintage melds the freshness of grapefruit and white pear with the richness and depth of banoffee pie. The palate is textured and pithy, showing salted macadamia and oatmeal beside lemon peel. A generous expression of the single vineyard
site, but with the fruit and acidity to age.

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.

“The lean, linear wine that just keeps one going back and assessing over and over again. Lemon and lime with a touch of sweet marzipan. Layers of white peach, floral and almond flavours, finishing tight and dry, yet it has a full mid-palate. We’d strongly suggest exercising restraint to keep this wine for 8-10 years from vintage.” – Corlien’s notes

ANALYSIS: ALC 13.5% | RS 2.9 g/l | TA 6.2 g/l | pH 3.39

5 in stock


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 wholebunch pressed and fermented in barrel where the wine remains for 11 months before bottling. All fruit is handpicked 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 4000 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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