Crystallum Ferrum Chardonnay 2022


Grapes for this wine is from a farm owned by the Finlayson brothers, just past the last vineyards of the Hemel & Aarde Ridge appelation. It therefor officially falls under Overberg WO, but hopefully soon it will carry it’s own WO Shaw’s Mountain. The soils are iron rich clay and shale, and the 1Ha vineyard was grafted in 2018 to Chardonnay. 2021 is only the second vintage of this wine, and it’s already making us all pay serious attention.

The wine shows savoury notes, with bruised apple and beautiful spice. The slightly creamy mouthfeel is balanced with fresh saline / briny note on the finish. I absolutely love this wine and know it will reward the patient collector in 5-8 years. – Corlien Morris

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Another lean and focussed expression has added complexity this year with greengage, cardamon biscuits, buttered toast and lime curd on the palate, supported by a crunchy Grannysmith apple skin texture. The wet stone freshness and light flinty smoke is retained from the previous vintage but takes a moment longer to reveal itself. A taut and coiled vintage that will age beyond 2035.


The wine was whole-bunch pressed with no enzymes, sulphites added at pressing. After an overnight rough-settling, the juice was sent to barrel, with a spontaneous fermentation and ageing taking place over 10 months in 300 and 500-litre barrels, 20% of which were were new oak.

TECHNICAL ANALYSIS: ALC 13.23 % | pH 3.42 | RS 2.3 g/L | TA 5.8 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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