Bouchard Finlayson has released two new vintages of its signature Pinot Noirs. The flagship Tête de Cuvée Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2013 is now available at the cellar door, alongside the Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2015, after it was announced that the latter has won a gold medal and regional Trophy in the 2017 International Wine Challenge in the UK.
Under the leadership of Peter Finlayson, the founder and cellar master of Bouchard Finlayson, the estate has been a pioneer in the production of Pinot Noir in the South African market over the past 27 years (since 1991). Winemaker Chris Albrecht, who has celebrated seven vintages at Bouchard Finlayson, says the cultivar is quite unique as it depicts little varietal character of its own, rather expressing the terroir upon which it is grown. ‘Pinot Noir carries the crown of being the most terroir-expressive of all grape varieties. We are fortunate in that 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’, he said.
The Bouchard Finlayson Tête de Cuvée label presents a cameo selection of the top Pinot Noir barrels from any particular vintage, showcasing only the very best, and released only during exceptional vintages.
2013 was arguably one of the best Pinot Noir seasons ever. The emphasis of the Tête de Cuvée Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2013 was placed on attaching the best Pinot Noir ferments, to the best new wood with the intention of sculpting a top quality, collectors’ wine. These particular grapes stem from the oldest vines on the property where the vineyard has been intentionally planted to a high density model. Barrel maturation enjoyed a full 11 months, with Albrecht and Finlayson choosing from individual barrels to compile the chosen components. A ‘fruits of the forest’ wine, its colour is deep and the body is firm and bold. It is a complex wine that demands further ageing to develop its core of complexity. Delicious raspberry, quince and blackberry flavours add to the nutty tones offered by the generous compliment of new wood. The finish is tannin rich but harmonious at the same time.
2015 was cited by Peter Finlayson as a vintage of ‘pure luxury’, with perfect weather conditions resulting in excellent winemaking potential from this super crop. Bouchard Finlayson’s Galpin Peak 2015 vintage is medium dark with black-red colour. The wine reveals an explosive nose of red fruits and infused cherry, whilst the palate projects cranberry and plum with smoky strawberry high tones. A great vintage with trophy winning quality, this wine is bright with a good grip and velvety mouthfeel, complete with considerable ageing potential.