The grapes to produce the Chardonnay “Ferrum” Crystallum were gently pressed as whole bunches in order 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 maximum intensity of flavour and character.
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 a vibrant acidity.
Crystallum is a small winery established in 2007 by brothers Peter-Allan and Andrew Finlayson. Their father, Peter, was a pioneer in the production of cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir at Bouchard Finlayson, so after university it seemed the natural thing for the boys to return home and source some fruit from the Hemel-en-Aarde valley to start their own label. Crystallum is now one of the most highly regarded wineries in South Africa, yet the Finlaysons are determined to make even better wines. Peter-Allan has sourced fruit from some new vineyards, while winemaking has evolved. All of the wines are now fermented using indigenous yeasts and new oak has been reduced to help the bright fruit shine through.