Highlights: Crystallum Whole Bunch Pinot Noir 2018 Overberg, South Africa

Crystallum Whole Bunch Pinot Noir 2018 Overberg, South Africa
14% alcohol. This is from Hemel-en-Arde, but is labelled Overberg because 20% of the wine comes from the Kerksaal vineyard just outside the appellation. It’s a wine that I had a small role in making (I did 11 days of vintage at the winery, and my feet and hands were in this). The grapes were harvested into small crates and then kept overnight in a cold room. Whole bunches were sorted (it was a warm vintage and some of the grapes were a little raisined: Peter-Allen Finlayson was worried he’d missed the pick slightly) then put in 1 ton plastic fermenters, and foot-trodden to release juice, then very gently handled for the rest of fermentation. No sulfites were added at grape reception or during fermentation. It then went to small oak (half new). This is beautifully aromatic with sweet cherries and plums, some black cherries and some spice. The palate has amazing concentration, with sleek ripe fruit but also a bit of grunt in terms of spicy structure: it’s not a shy wine, but it has brilliant balance as well as concentration and ripeness. There’s an effortlessness here: it packs structure, ripe fruit, acidity and well integrated oak in a harmonious whole, with the potential for future development. A total grand cru, and probably the best South African Pinot I’ve tasted. Just 1016 bottles made, but it’s worth seeking out. 96/100

UK agent: Liberty Wines
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Some pictures of it being made: