This small winery was established in 2007 by brothers Peter-Allan and Andrew Finlayson. Their father, Peter, was a pioneer in the production of cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir at Bouchard Finlayson, so after university it seemed the natural thing for the boys to return home and source some fruit from the Hemel-en-Aarde valley to start their own label. Crystallum is now one of the most highly regarded wineries in South Africa, yet the Finlaysons are determined to make even better wines. Peter-Allan has sourced fruit from some new vineyards, while winemaking has evolved. All of the wines are now fermented using indigenous yeasts and new oak has been reduced to help the bright fruit shine through.
Mabalel is named after a poem by the legendary South African polymath Eugene Marais, which tells the story of a local chieftain’s daughter of the same name who was ambushed while fetching water from the Limpopo River by the crocodile, Lalele. The vineyard is planted on ‘Kaaimansgat’ farm - meaning Crocodile’s lair - and a river flows past the vineyard. The site is 700m high and surrounded by dramatic mountains, with peaks that are often snow-capped in winter.
Lighter and more delicate than the other Crystallum Pinot Noirs with aromas of cherry, plum, blackcurrant and dark chocolate.