Fruit for the ‘Mabalel’ Pinot Noir is sourced exclusively from a unique, high-altitude vineyard in the Elandskloof. The site sits at 700 metres above sea level and rests in what resembles a volcanic crater. The vineyard is surrounded by some of the Cape’s highest mountain peaks that are regularly covered by snow during winter. The soil is clay with a lighter topsoil of sandstone and quartz, resulting in late-ripening fruit that develops an elegant and often savoury aroma profile. This is the first Pinot Noir to be produced in this valley.
The 2021 vintage was the latest Cape Vintage since 2014, with the drought broken and a cold, wet winter leading to later bud break. Ripening was two weeks later than previous years in this particular site. Fruit quality was excellent and acidities were higher than usual. With time, the wines are predicted to be elegant and charming, with lovely freshness and pure fruit flavours.
The fruit was fermented using only indigenous yeasts. 100% was destemmed, in contrast to the other Crystallum wines. The total time in tank was 29 days with a 14 day post-fermentation maceration. The wine was then transferred to French oak barrels (20% new) where it remained for 11 months before bottling.