In the past week I tried some Pinot stuff from the alleged rising star of Walker Bay. In 2007 Andrew and Peter-Allan Finlayson (the sons of the famous Peter Finlayson) started their Crystallum Wines project in Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. My wine was the entry level Pinot Noir “Peter Max”. Peter and Max are the given names of the growers who supplied the fruit for the first vintage (my 2008 vintage) of this wine. So much for explanation of this curious name. The grapes for the Peter Max 2008 were cultivated in two different cooler climate appellations: Walker Bay and Elgin. The aging (approx. 11 months) took place in mostly used oak barrels (just 25% new ones). The result of the first vintage were 5500 bottles of decently produced Pinot.
The Peter Max colour seemed vital, had a dark’ish red colour, a bit watery rim and plenty of high-viscosity. The nose presented itself with a decent amount of not too dark cherries, herb enriched raspberries, some flintiness, a little bit of wet foliage and gradually more and more strong fruitful perfume. For my taste maybe a little bit too much. The taste showed a somewhat hotter character. Unfortunately quite a lot of alcohol (on the bottle just 13,5%, on the web 14%)! Well okay, after 5 to 6 hours this unflattering impression eased a bit, but remained disproportionate throughout my two days of tasting. The fruit of bright cherries, raspberries and hints of yellow fruits were spicy or perhaps even a bit fiery ardent. The underlying mineral impression was definitely present, but not overwhelmingly majestic or super distinct! I guess I got some impressions of flint, wet foliage and maybe lime. On the second days I thought to spot some more vegetal flavours. Brown ones! I suppose the complexity was decent for a higher-priced entry level Pinot Noir. The concentration and finish was fair. I simply got one, but not so little, problem: the unbalanced alcohol! This “conflict” reminded me a bit of Daddy's Pinots ;-). Anyway, for a first vintage Pinot a decent and mostly enjoyable wine!