For many years, the only Pinot Noir clonal material available to the industry was a Swiss clone called BK5, which as it turns out was poorly suited to the terrain and the climate. This all changed finally in the middle to late 80’s and soon thereafter, vignerons began importing and experimenting with different material, most notably the French Dijon clones which were very much in vogue around the world. Not surprisingly, it has taken South Africa a few decades to understand these clones and to experiment with them in various locations. This is not because they’re slow learners, but rather because it takes considerable vine age for Pinot
Noir to overcome its adolescence. This wine is made from Pinot Noir Clone 667, planted more than two decades ago on the Stellenbosch mountain as an experimental block, by the Enology Department of Stellenbosch University. In his search for special and undiscovered sites and wines, David found this vineyard and has created a wine that showcases the true potential that exists for Pinot Noir in Stellenbosch – when the right clone is planted on the perfect site. Alas, this vineyard is tiny – a little over half an acre.
90 pts Wine Spectator This shows a good amount of fruit, with ripe cherry, rose hip and violet notes, underscored by hints of iron and rooibos. The acidity keeps this focused, showing light tannins for support. A sweet component emerges on the inviting finish. Drink now through 2027. 200 cases made, 50 cases imported. — AZ
90 pts Decanter
This wine is made from some of the very first Dijon clone plantings in South Africa. This wine is entirely made from Pinot Noir Clone 667, planted in the mid 90’s on the Stellenbosch mountain as an experimental block, by the Enology Department of Stellenbosch University. In his search for special and undiscovered sites and wines, David Finlayson found this vineyard and has created a “hands off”, non-interventionist wine that showcases the true potential that exists for Pinot Noir in Stellenbosch – when the right clone is planted on the perfect site. Alas, this vineyard is tiny – half an acre. Hand-picked and fermented in a closed tank with wild ferment with 25% stems for tannin structure. During the 7-10 day maceration time, 2 pump overs were done each day. Wine was then pressed and racked to new and used French barrels for 18 months. During that time it was racked once. Prior to bottling, a very coarse filtering was done, but no fining. There was a tiny sulfur adjustment as well. 1200 bottles were made.