Bouchard Finlayson Releases New Vintages

Words: Crush

Bouchard Finlayson is about to release its latest white and red signature vintages from 2015, 2013 and 2012 – years with wildly varying weather conditions, making for intriguing results. The new releases are available at the cellar in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, and at leading wine merchants around the country.

As winemaker Peter Finlayson notes, ‘vintage 2015 has distinguished itself as a stellar event – a rain-free summer presented an opportunity to capture near perfect, finely flavoured fruit of outstanding quality.’ A notable result of these favourable conditions is the Bouchard Finlayson 2015 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve. Last produced in 2012, this vintage has been created from two standalone tanks of Sauvignon Blanc, complemented by blending in 14.8% Semillon. It is a rare gem, with a limited run of only 6000 bottles.

Finlayson further mentions that the maturity of the Bouchard Finlayson vines (first plantings date back to 1990) plays an integral part in presenting designer fruit of targeted structure and elegance. Another ameliorating factor is the winemaker’s viticulture approach of planting vines close together – a method that is unusual in the Cape but offers greater competition between vines, leading to less vigour and consequently brighter wines with more depth and colour. This approach harks back to the past, when vineyards were tended by horses – 65% of Bouchard Finlayson’s vineyard lands are free of wheeled tractors.

Despite Sauvignon Blanc being Bouchard Finlayson’s least promoted or exposed wine, it proves to be the winery’s most successful label in terms of being appreciated and valued by the market, thanks to its delicious flavour and easy  drinking nature. This appeal is backed by Peter Finlayson’s cautious approach in ensuring a comfortable balance between fruit maturity and accommodating acid balance in the final crafting of the wine.  The Bouchard Finlayson 2015 Walker Bay Sauvignon Blanc presents a notable, flawless crop of ‘very happy grapes’, as Finlayson describes it. He continues to say that ‘the vintage was early, mimicking 2004, which illustrates that vintages have personalities of their own’.



 2015 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve (cellar door price R130)

This vintage has been created from two standalone tanks of Sauvignon Blanc, complemented by blending in 14.8 % Semillon. Powerful yet elegant, it boasts obvious forward Sauvignon Blanc flavours such as fresh fig, white peach and mint infusion. The palate is tightly stretched, offering promising ageing potential supported by a classic herbal finish.

2015 Walker Bay Sauvignon Blanc (cellar door price R101)

Hand-picked estate fruit, selected in the vineyard, offers a wine with hints of tropical perfumes, gooseberry, litchi and green fig herbaceousness, captured over layers of creamy mineral-rich, tongue rolling flavours. More tropical than grassy, it is expected to age well.

2013 Missionvale Chardonnay (cellar door price R206)

This vintage is characterised by elaborate flavours of under-exposed wood tones, with over layers of pure vanilla, pear, mango and yeasty lees. The finest hand-crafted Burgundian barrels by barrel makers Tonnellerie Meyrieux of Nuits St. George provide optimum support. Expected to develop over the next four years – added complexity and nutty flavours will enhance with a deeper and richer colour.

 2013 Galpin Peak Pinot Noir (cellar door price R283)

This is a confident and classic wine, able to match the best on offer. The flavour profile is firm and polished, without being overstated. It is classically old-world with good ageing potential. Notes of peppery spice mingle with black berry and cherry flavours, ending in a harmonious and long sweet mineral aftertaste.

2012 Tête de Cuvée Galpin Peak Pinot Noir (cellar door price R765)

A warm but mild growing season producing neat, top quality grapes which only needed to careful guidance for an enviable result. Further maturation in quality first-fill Burgundian barrels has ameliorated this opportunity to show its best. The palate offers fine, rich fruit with whiffs of raspberry, plum and oaky blackberry tones. This vintage is rich, long on the back palate with great structure and long harmonious layers of velvety tannins, promising rewarding years of complex development.

 Situated on the R320 near Hermanus, Bouchard Finlayson vineyard and winery is open for tastings and sales Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 17h00 and on Saturdays from 10h00 to 13h00. For further information, call +27 28 312 3515; email; or visit

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