3 October, 2018 | Earlier this year Bouchard Finlayson released the 2016 vintage of its flagship Galpin Peak Pinot Noir.
Tasting notes describe first impressions of the wine as having ‘an earthiness on the nose, followed by excellent colour and bold palate complexity. Dark red fruit with a savoury mixture of cherries, plums and cinnamon drift into an extended palate feel, while 11 months in French oak barrels will allow for an extended maturation’.
Pinot Noir is unique as it displays both a delicacy and richness, but it is often quoted as depicting little varietal character of its own – rather expressing the terroir upon which it is grown. Hence, it carries the crown of being the most terroir-expressive of all grape varieties. The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley represents that unique combination of soil and climate that exists in only a handful of places where the exact balance provides the perfect expression of this elusive grape.
Peter Finlayson, the founder of Bouchard Finlayson says not every vintage presents the chosen balance of grapes and 2016 turned out to be a vintage where decision making became all important. ‘Much of the harvest presented itself with too much crop which meant for serious selection and resulted in only the best ferments being considered for bottling consideration.’
With plenty of grapes to work with, the 2016 vintage allowed for an opportunity to explore fresh ideas in terms of different fermentation prospects. Some ferments contained greater amounts of whole bunch contribution with the net result that this tactic has arrived at a very expressive wine with great middle palate structure and notable maturation potential to boot.
The vintage has since gone on to receive global acclaim in the International Wine Challenge (IWC) 2018, not only taking a Gold medal, but also winning trophies as Best SA Pinot Noir, as well as Best SA Red.
Thousands of wines from 55 countries were put to the test by a panel of experts in this competition. Now in its 34th year, the IWC is accepted as the world’s finest and most meticulously judged wine competition which assesses every wine blind and judges each for its faithfulness to style, region and vintage.
In July, international wine critic James Suckling announced the latest ratings in his annual showcase of the great wines of the world on JamesSuckling.com. In this year’s round-up Suckling and his team tasted more than 16 000 wines from as far afield as Italy, Bordeaux, Champagne, Australia, New Zealand, California, Chile and Argentina, as well as 500 wines from South Africa.
At 94 points, the Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak 2016 received high praise and was described as ‘showing aromas of caramelised lemon peel, cloves, jasmine, eucalyptus, raspberry cheesecake and darker elements of black plums and cherries. The serving of the fruit on the palate is impressive, but it’s all so well contained by the encompassing acidity and silky tannins’.
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