Bouchard Finlayson - A Boutique Winery

Latest Newsletter

April 2015

What's Happening at Bouchard Finlayson

Peter Finlayson

A Word From Peter

Vintage 2015 has now been captured and handsomely completed. It has been a straight forward and uncomplicated vintage, but now is the time to witness the unfolding and development of the new wines … and after working with such happy and smiley faced fruit, expectations will be high. Now is the time to allow the wines to settle in and no doubt within a couple of months we will witness the truth of 2015!

A great achievement in favour of Tête De Cuvée has been the Gold Medal Drinks Business Pinot Noir Masters 2015, for, about to be released, Tête De Cuvée 2012 vintage. This 2012 vintage has also followed on in achieving #1 spot in Frédéric Dassé Top12wines ( 13 March 2015). I have a kind of feeling that this is only the beginning in the story behind this wine? The concept of the Tête De Cuvée label started back in 1996 when a single barrel of Pinot noir was selected for bottling. The consequent 1997 vintage went on to win the trophy at the International Wine Challenge in London in year 2000.

Schloss Vollrads in the Rheingau in Germany is particularly noteworthy in the wine world because it is in possession of the oldest recordings of wine trading in the world. This dating back to year 1211 and until recently (1997) it had been owned for over 800 years by one family with direct line of decent, an enviable pedigree indeed. This past week we enjoyed the visit from Dr Rowald Hepp the winemaker director at this celebrated property, who was fascinated by our Blanc de Mer 2014 which is 69% Riesling. Schloss Vollrads only producers one grape variety and that is Riesling. Reflecting on a cellar with such long history can only lead one's imagination to consider where we may be in 800 years.

Peter Finlayson

Recent Achievements


These white's are still appealing on a warm autumn's day. 2014 was a cracker of a vintage for white wine, despite the wet and consequently cool summer. Blanc de Mer 2014 offers more than it portrays and its Riesling pedigree boasts loads of strong personality. Achieving character with best Chardonnay wines normally happens through the compliment of maturing in French Oak barrels. The Sans Barrique 2014 cuvee enjoys no wood, which is the key to its crisp clean personality. The development of our Hannibal wine has been a singular success story. Originally prompted by the classic taste and palate of Italian varieties Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. Hannibal 2013 is potentially one of the best productions of Hannibal. Click on the bottles for comprehensive tasting notes.

Recent Achievements

Robert Parker's Endorsement

On Vicki's last London trip, she had the unique opportunity to have lunch with the owners of the Wine Advocate Soo Hoo Khoon Peng, his wife Josephine, CEO Joe James and the world famous wine expert Robert Parker, who tasted our Tête de Cuvée Pinot Noir 2005 and Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2005 and raved about them. It was a moment of great pride and pleasure for all of us at Bouchard Finlayson.


Our most recent ratings by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate Issue #215
90 points - Crocodile's Lair Chardonnay 2013
90 points - Hannibal 2012
90 points - Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2012

Top12Wines Pinot Noir

Bouchard Finlayson 2012 Pinot noir's take the 2 TOP places in Frédéric Dassé Top12wines Pinot Noir tasting - 13 March. Téte de Cuvée Pinot Noir 2012 - in top position with our Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2012 coming in 2nd.

Frédéric comments: "The wines made a serious impression. The group was interestingly very French with top managers of French groups subsidiaries in Johannesburg, mainly Alsthom, Bombardier and AtlasCopco. They fell in love with your wines! They also came at the top of my personal ratings too. You have a mix of elegance and aromatic expression which was very distinctive amongst the wines in the line up. To my opinion, this is definitely a key ingredient in that victory." Read more >>


Music concerts

The annual concert program in Bouchard Finlayson's barrel cellar has become an institution of note and certainly established itself as a cornerstone activity. The acoustics are something out of this world that we often receive requests from musicians to perform in our barrel cellar. Most recent request from the wonderful Bronwen Forbay (Soprano) who will be performing during the annual Hermanus Fynarts Festival. We are proud to announce that through the Hermanus Music Society concerts the HMS has donated R10 500 to the Cape Winemakers Guild protégé program from the 2014 calendar year. We are most grateful for the work done by the HMS and we look forward to retaining such enthusiastic energy and support through fresh programs and brilliant performances.

Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir Celebration

Enthusiasts experienced distinguished Pinot Noirs produced by the Hemel-en-Aarde winegrowers, shared the philosophies of the area's winemakers and enjoyed the natural beauty at the second annual Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir celebration which took place on the 30th and 31st January 2015 at Bona Dea Estate. The celebration's guest Speaker was Norman Hardie, producer of awarded Pinot Noir's and Chardonnays in Ontario, Canada. The Saturday line up included various producer themed Pinot Noir Tastings. The Homestead's cellar was a buzz with laughter and loud cheer as Bouchard Finlayson hosted a Pinot 'un-puzzled' quizz whilst tasting through various vintages of our Tête de Cuvée, Galpin Peak and CWG Pinot Noir's. Read more >>

Cape Wine Auction

The CWA 2015 held at Boschendal Estate in February was a massive success raising over R10.5 million for charity. Only possible through generous donations. The CWA lots are one of a kind experiences and include rare wines, exceptional private homes, supremely talented chefs and winemakers, and access to the inner sanctum of the South African wine industry. Thank you to the CWA organising committee for an incredible event.

Lia's Travels

The first quarter of the year has been an exciting one for Bouchard Finlayson and our export market has enjoyed incredible listings around the globe. The year started with a listing by the glass of our Chardonnay Sans Barrique at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong, for their entire outlet to celebrate the Chinese New year, the year of the sheep. Our award winning Hannibal and Galpin Peak also enjoyed a listing at Pierre Gagnaire, which holds 2 Michelin stars and is on the 25th floor! Read more on Lia's busy and successful travels around the UK and France.

Tutored Tasting 14 April

Bouchard Finlayson will host the first of the 2015 Tutored Tastings at Hildebrand Ristorante, Pierhead, V & A Waterfront on the 14th April. 12 of our wines will be poured on the evening. The first flight will be 3 vintages from the unique white wine blend – Blanc de Mer, followed by 6 vintages of Galpin Peak and Tête de cuvée Pinot Noir, ending in a flight of the flagship Missionvale Chardonnay all paired with delectable canapés. Please contact the Estate for bookings.

Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival 12 - 14 May

The Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival celebrates their 25th Anniversary between the 12th - 14th May at the The Polo Lounge, Inanda Club, Johannesburg, doors open 17:30 – 21:00. The show's success comes from offering unique boutique wineries with provenance and a mark of distinction to knowledgeable and keen wine lovers. Each winery featured is handpicked for its quality and distinction providing a forum for interaction between wine lovers and talented cellar masters.

London Wine Fair 18 - 20 May

The 35th London Wine Fair takes place at Kensington Olympia between the 18th - 20th May. Bouchard Finlayson will be sharing a stand with their agent Seckford wine Agency on Stand Y60 in the Grand Hall. Peter Finlayson and Lia Poveda look forward to sharing our wines and knowledge with you.

Hermanus Fynarts 5 -16 June

After ten exciting months spent planning a bumper programme, the Hermanus Fynarts line-up is now available on their website with information and news about events, artists and presenters. Bouchard Finlayson are proud to once again sponsor the Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Art Award 2015 Tondo Competition. This year the theme is 'Connections'. The finalists of this unique exhibition of tondi (circular artworks) will be displayed on the ends of barrels in our working wine cellar. Paper, canvas, board, Perspex, fabric, embroidery, collage, mixed media photography, digitally/mechanically produced and photo-based media were accepted.

The recent Cellar Door Lucky Draw winners

February - Minette van Niekerk
March - Lauren Rawbone

Each received a bottle of 2013 Hannibal.

Remember to put your business card in the ‘lucky draw box’ when you come and visit us in the tasting room. 

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