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Bouchard Finlayson has released a collection of handpicked older vintages that are now available for sale at the cellar door of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley winery outside Hermanus. Known as winemaker and cellarmaster Peter Finlayson’s personal ‘Peter’s Picks’, it comprises vintage gems from library stock. These include some 18-year old red wines, which have been cellared in the best possible conditions to not only provide pleasure to connoisseurs and collectors, but to be served and savoured at special occasions.


The newly released Peter’s Picks feature two vintages of Bouchard Finlayson’s renowned and award-winning Galpin Peak – 1998 (R500) and 2001 (R500). The elusive Pinot noir varietal that grows on the slopes of Galpin Peak of the Bouchard Finlayson estate has been its flagship red wine for over 20 years. It is this wine that has earned Peter Finlayson the honorary title of ‘South Africa’s pinot pioneer’. He says: ‘The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley has proved to be an exception in the hunt for the illusive Pinot noir terroir outside of Burgundy. It is this particular soil and microclimate, which year on year, offers unique vintages that consistently rate as South Africa’s top Pinot noirs.’


Bouchard Finlayson Tête de Cuvée is a limited edition bottling of only the best Pinot noir barrels of a single vintage, produced in exceptional years only to take advantage of the best quality fruit. A wine of extraordinary quality, the 2006 vintage is deftly balanced, rich, dark-coloured with rich plum and pretty floral, fruity aromatics and luscious tannins which ‘call one back into the glass’ – now available as a Peter’s Pick (R1200).


Peter Finlayson has long been an advocate for drinking older white wines too, and for allowing icon wines to be laid down and given the opportunity to mature and blossom. He has included three vintage chardonnays in the current Peter’s Picks line-up to showcase the benefits of maturation, and the achievement of best flavour development that has enhanced the typical chardonnay character of these three wines.


The Kaaimansgat/Crocodile’s Lair 2007 (R300) is another terroir specific Bouchard Finlayson wine, with grapes sourced 700 meters above sea level, from the Elandskloof Valley behind Villiersdorp. These vineyards are not irrigated and produce small berried grapes of high skin to juice ratio, which adds extra flavour component to this delightful wine with its enhanced mineral quality, profiled in the best French oak barrels.


In keeping with the style of the Bouchard Finlayson Limited Edition Kaaimansgat Chardonnay, the 2011 (R360) is broad and powerful with a firm underlying structure that has allowed the lemon, toast and peach flavours to exaggerate as it matured. A limited quantity of this wine (3648 bottles) was produced; 50% new wood having added delicious vanilla and toasted hazelnut tones.


The rich characteristic of Bouchard Finlayson Chardonnay Sans Barrique (un-oaked) stems from the same clay based soils of the Elandskloof Valley. Heavy clay and stony soils, un-irrigated with their excellent winter chill factor, all contribute to the terroir influence on this wine. Vintage 2009 Sans Barrique (R250) has been naturally produced with an emphatic fruit purity and minerality, with great length from tantalizingly luscious acidity to offer a wine perfectly suited for those who find wooded chardonnays too powerful.


For further information and Peter’s Picks orders, call +27 28 312 3515; email info@bouchardfinlayson.co.za