A new wine, grapes from the Shaw’s Mountain area of the Overberg, planted on iron-rich soils and hence the name. Lemon and orange, some waxy, yeasty notes and spice on the nose while the palate is rich and full with well-integrated acidity and a savoury finish. Particularly characterful. 93/100 Christian Eedes winemag.co.za
The maiden release from vineyards on Crystallum’s own land. The nose shows quince, lychee, lemon curd and a light, peaty smoke. A full and textured palate with honeycomb and winter melon is lent freshness and complexity by lime leaf and lemon thyme savouriness. At the same time, the ample mid-palate leads into a lengthy, pithy finish.
The Ferrum Chardonnay is sourced from Crystallum’s latest site, situated at 220 metres above sea level in the Shaw’s Mountain area of the Overberg. The site mirrors the terroir in Hemel-en-Aarde while not technically falling within the region. The climate is marginally more moderate than nearby Kerksaal, being closer to the coast. The wine’s name is derived from the iron-rich shale soils, which naturally restrict vigour while allowing for optimum fruit development. Altitude and cooling sea breezes slow down the grape ripening process, resulting in grapes with excellent concentration of flavour balanced by vibrant acidity.
Healthy winter rainfall began to replenish water reserves in the soil and sustained the vines through the growing season. Cooler conditions in the lead up to harvest were beneficial. The grapes underwent a perfectly paced, slow and steady ripening and were harvested with concentrated flavours balanced by fresh, natural acidity. However, 2020 was still affected by the preceding drought years. This meant the vines were only just starting to recover fully and resulted in low yields. Despite this, Peter-Allan was “very happy with the quality and elegance” of the 2020 vintage.
Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were gently pressed as whole bunches to obtain a very clear juice. The juice was left to settle and then racked into 500L Austrian oak barrels (20%new), where the wine fermented naturally and remained on its lees for 10 months, gaining textural complexity. It was bottled by hand with no filtration or cold stabilisation to retain the maximum intensity of flavour and character.