2014 Crystallum "The Agnes" Chardonnay Hemel-en-Aarde / Overberg

SKU #1217940 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Cool, discreet nose hints at menthol. Tightly wound and quite dry, with flavors of stone fruits, lemon oil and nut oils complemented by a touch of sweet oak (just 10% new). Very concentrated, tactile wine with excellent firming acidity. Finishes cool, dry, classic and long, with a lingering note of peach oil and a subtle saline character.  (6/2015)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2014 The Agnes Chardonnay, a blend of different vineyards, has quite a refined, understated bouquet that is nicely defined with touches of flint and citrus lemon coming through with aeration. The palate is fresh and crisp, very tensile with a touch of bitter lemon on the entry. A little awkward at the moment, there is something almost Muscadet-like towards the finish, with a light sea-spray influence. Very fine.  (11/2015)

K&L Notes

Crystallum is an awesome project from “young gun” winemaker and “Zoo Biscuits Wine Gang” member Peter-Allan Finlayson. His father, Peter Finlayson, is pretty much South African winemaking royalty. Peter-Allan is part of a younger generation of winemakers really putting modern South African wines on the map for all the right reasons. This “crew” makes great wines, surfs, Braais and generally has fun. It’s fine wine without any pretentious snobbery—and I love it. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate has this to say about Peter-Allan: “Sometimes you meet a young winemaker whose enthusiasm and approach makes an impression…you intuitively feel that they are one to watch, perchance a star of the future.” The Crystallum wines combine a very Burgundian sense of restraint with a modern acid line and purity of varietal expression. (Ryan Woodhouse, K&L South Africa wine buyer)

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Price: $19.99
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Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/27/2016 | Send Email
A flinty, saline, yellow stonefruit-dominated wine with plenty of wet stone minerals and subtle almond skin nuttiness. Lovely textural weight on the palate but without being saturated with oak or drowned in butter. This has beautifully judged restraint and delicacy in a world of over-the-top Chards. A true pleasure to drink and a screaming value.

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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

South Africa

- Now that it has adopted a multi-racial attitude, and now that the world has embraced its government and its exports, South Africa has become a major wine producer. Unfortunately, South Africa has had a difficult time joining the ranks of competitive winemaking countries. During the anti-apartheid sanctions in the 1980s, South African wine was dealt the huge blow when it was removed from the international market, and for political reasons it was quite difficult for wine producers to market wine to the black majority. Things are finally looking up for the wine industry here, and quality has never been higher. South Africa produces a grape cloned from Pinot Noir and Cinsault, called Pinotage, which is the country's unique varietal. Chenin Blanc (known as Steen) makes up one-third of its vines. Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz are becoming increasingly popular as are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Click for a list of bestselling items from South Africa.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.8