Bouchard Finlayson - A Boutique Winery

Latest Newsletter

November 2014

What's Happening at Bouchard Finlayson

Peter FinlaysonA Word from Peter

Paul Bouchard once said that “every Burgundian winemaker has one foot in jail” but I guess this has something to do with the Pinot Noir grape which some claim to have been created by the Devil. It is also known as the “heartbreak grape”. Intrinsically Pinot Noir is extraordinarily site specific and confirmation of this characteristic is it disguising itself in the names of Champagne, Spatburgunder, Mercurey and a host of fairy tale Burgundian vineyard sites. It is also the wine that inspires one to create new sins …and wish to commit them. The twist in such “smoky mirrors” talk is that modern man (to his detriment) has lost all fear of the Devil and consequently us “Pinot” sinners are free to be winners. It is ironical that the original winemakers and most pervasive influence in the development of Burgundy were the monastery’s and imagine what monk’i business was expressed in the process? In spite of this we are gracious and thankful for such steadfast commitment to this super cultivar. Currently our 2012 vintage is showing its colours and what better highlighted expression of its success than the R1000 ($90) per bottle mark achieved at the 30th Cape Winemakers Guild Auction (4th Oct) with our Pinot Noir achieving the highest price amongst the four Pinot noirs on sale at the auction. Another super accolade enjoyed this October is the gold medal achieved by our Hannibal 2012 at the Six Nations competition in Sydney Australia. This for category “non Bordeaux” red blends. To place in perspective only two SA wines received gold, one from NZ, Chile, Argentina and Australia respectively and three from USA. Essentially this competition can best be described as the annual wine Olympiad for the new world wines!

Peter Finlayson

What's Happening at Bouchard Finlayson

Crocodile's Lair 2014

Chardonnay continues to dominate the popularity ratings amongst the world's best white wines. It has a convincing ability to produce both full bodied as well as lighter styled wines but always presents a larger personality than any competition from other grape varieties. The Kaaimansgat or Crocodile's Lair vineyard is skillfully hidden away in the Elands Kloof Valley behind the village of Villiersdorp, some 80 km from Hermanus. A beautiful spot tucked away inside a blind valley, presenting an artistic setting nestled amongst majestic mountains and fit for a Hollywood movie. Its Chardonnay wines are definitely fit for a Hollywood dinner party! Bouchard Finlayson has been linked uninterrupted to this vineyard for close on twenty four years. It is located 700 meters above sea level, ripens a month later than other Cape Chardonnays and benefits enormously from cool autumn temperatures. The vines are not irrigated and they produce small berries of high skin to juice ratio, which adds an extra flavour component to this super wine.

The 2014 vintage offered near perfect fruit with great malic acid levels which were converted through secondary fermentation to softer and more complex lactic acid, an opportunity to contribute greater complexity. Additional time and barrel maturation on the lees contributes to its distinctive creamy texture. The dry land nature of this vineyard also offers a distinctive mineral quality which allows greater maturation potential. Beautifully fresh and crisp with obvious gooseberry flavours surrounded by subtle oak nuances derived from best French oak barrels where the new compliment is a notable 20%. Enjoyed through all seasons with a wide range of dishes. Particularly rich sea foods and white meats and charcuterie!

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Recent Achievements

Both the Hannibal 2012 and the Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2012 received Gold medals at the 2014 China Wine and Spirits Awards, while the Hannibal 2012 won a Gold medal at the 2014 Six Nations Wine Challenge held in Sydney, Australia. Continuing in the success for our Hannibal and Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2012 vintages, both wines received 'silver outstanding' awards at the 2014 prestigious International Wine and Spirit Competition in the UK.

Recent Events

Lia's 'Beautiful South' review

For the second year running, this event promoting wines from Chile, Argentina and South Africa was held at Olympia in London. With a huge contribution from WOSA (Wines of South Africa) our Global Ambassador Lia reported ecstatically that is was 'busier than the previous year and the South African producer stands were the most visited', indicating a rise in the profile of SA wines in general. The 'Beautiful South' is open to wine professionals with Lia meeting many new sommeliers, wine merchants and most of our current customers. The support is always appreciated and a good opportunity to brainstorm upcoming events and promotions. It was lovely for Lia to meet new faces from Scandinavia and Canada.

CWG Auction 2014

In line with record sales of R11,9 million at the recent 30th Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction, Bouchard Finlayson’s Auction Reserve Pinot Noir 2012 and Auction Reserve Estate Chardonnay 2012 both achieved its highest selling price ever in history - selling at R1000 and R733 per bottle respectively. Underscoring its dominance and popularity in the market, the Bouchard Finlayson Pinot Noir furthermore achieved the highest price amongst the four Pinot noirs on sale at the auction. It was also one of only 15 different wines to break through the R1000 per bottle mark at the prestigious event. Winemaker Peter Finlayson was one of eight Cape Winemakers Guild founding members in 1985.

Peter Finlayson travels USA and Canada

The USA became the world's largest market for wine last year, beating France into second place for the first time, as consumption slides in the country long seen as the natural home of fine wine. The French still get through 1,2 bottles per week, about six times more than the average American. The contagious message here is the importance of the US market and fortunately our Bouchard Finlayson wines are warmly received there. This confirmed after Peter spent another fall visit, this time to New York, North Carolina, and Washington DC / Maryland. Arguably the most prestigious wine show in the US is the Wine Spectator New York Wine Experience. This Peter attended for the third time in consecutive years and in the process achieving yet another Critic’s Choice Award in recognition of our Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2011. 250 of the world's greatest wines are presented at this event to over 1000 discerning wine buffs, all searching for that magic pour. Tough competition, all side by side but no apologies offered for our wines from the southern point of Africa which compete admirably with the world's best.

Peter continued his mission of introducing the BF flag through new found territories. A particular accomplishment was presenting at a wine dinner at the celebrated Congressional Club and golf course outside of Washington DC. Excitement reigns at having our wines now listed at the hip, 'Eno Wine Bar and Bistro' at the Four Seasons in Washington DC. In North Carolina Peter visited the regions of Raleigh- Durham, Greensboro and Wilmington which are new and encouraging economic hubs with emerging lifestyle spenders ...just perfect for wine discovery!

From the USA to Toronto and Montreal in Canada. A promotional lunch was enjoyed at Beast restaurant with a host of wine writers and key persons from the LCBO (Liquor control board of Ontario). Montreal which is the largest and most enthusiastic wine market in Canada offered an opportunity to show our wines at the 'La Grande Dégustation de Montréal: coups de coeur des professionnels!' Our participation was that of one five invited guest wineries. An idea arose to ask well known wine critics and sommeliers to tell viewers which their favorite wine of the show from South Africa was. Watch the video. Of Peter's visit to Montreal he had only positive comments on what a proud and stunning city it is with handsome historical buildings and a wine loving Francophile population with discerning palates. The perfect destination for our wines which have now been listed with the SAQ for almost 10 years. Peter enjoyed a long but thoroughly absorbing trip through the wonderful and vibrant world of North America all in the necessity of boasting Bouchard Finlayson wines!

Upcoming Events

Christmas concert

Join the festivities as the Hermanus Cancer Fund is delighted to once again announce two very special Christmas concerts to be held in the cellar of Bouchard Finlayson on Thursday 18th and Friday 19th December. The concerts are generously sponsored by the Lloys-Ellis Family. Our guest musicians will be Violina Anguelov - mezzo soprano; Lukhanyo Moyake - tenor and Christopher Duigan - piano.

All funds raised will be used to support those suffering from cancer and their families in this area around Hermanus from Gansbaai to Kleinmond. The concerts begin at 6.30 pm with a glass of wine being served at 5.45 pm. For tickets which are R150, please ring Helen 028 312 1485, Derby 028 313 1633 or Carol 028 313 2675.

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Burton.

Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir Celebration 2015

The second Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir Celebration will take place on the Friday 30th and Saturday 31st January 2015. Hosted by the Hemel-en-Aarde Winegrowers Association, it follows the success of the inaugural event that took place in January 2014, which was attended by local guests, as well as visitors from all over South Africa, and as far afield as the UK, Germany, Ireland and China. Tickets for the 2015 event are sold out. Friday's Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir Tutored Tasting will include more than fourteen 2013 Pinot Noirs from the three appellations. The Gala Dinner is once again the scenic Bona Dea Estate with the keynote address being presented by Norman Hardie from Prince Edward County in Ontario, Canada. Norman Hardie Winery and Vineyard produces what many believe to be Canada's finest Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. On the Saturday, guests will be invited to choose and partake in a series of themed Pinot Noir events hosted by the Hemel-en-Aarde producers at the wineries.

Cape Wine Auction 2015

Bouchard Finlayson and Red Carnation Hotel Collection are proud to be associated with the Cape Wine Auction (CWA) 2015. The CWA lots are one of a kind experiences, that are not available for purchase. They include rare wines, exceptional private homes, supremely talented chefs and winemakers, and access to the inner sanctum of the South African wine industry. These opportunities come along once, for one auction, and then are not repeated. The second CWA will take place on the 13th and 14th February 2015 at Boschendal estate. It is a roving event, held in a different location each year, giving guests the chance to explore new and magnificent venues. Keeping things fresh and interesting, as we are utterly spoilt with the beautiful wine farms that surround us. The barrel tasting and lot review takes place on the 13th with the main auction event taking place on The Saturday the 14th February. In an incredible spirit of generosity, 2014's CWA raised a staggering R7.045  million. For more information on how you can get involved go to

Publicising our socialising

The marketing team thought this was worth sharing and a huge endorsement for our Pinot Noir...

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| See it on twitter | Téte de Cuvée Pinot Noir in the media

Nick Ross, BBC presenter & journalist

"I’ve had good South African Pinot Noir before but the 2012 Galpin Peak is a real treat, and while quite a few of the Cape sauvignons are world class the Missionvale is the best SA chardonnay I can recall."

The ideal Christmas gift

Whether you are giving a gift or enjoying the festivities that this time of year offers, a Magnum is the perfect choice. We have chosen three of our labels to offer in a Magnum size. The deliciously alluring Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2011, our unique Italian, French red blend - Hannibal 2012 which offers a symphony of flavours and our Estate Chardonnay - Missionvale Chardonnay 2011 - A Chardonnay best characterised by its seamless palate mouth feel and abundantly rich pronouncement on the palate. Celebrate a 'Magical Magnum Moment'.

The Magnums are available for sale at the cellar door, or may be ordered directly from the vineyard, via telephone, email or order now.

The recent Cellar Door Lucky Draw winners

Mr and Mrs Biti – July
Willem van Tonder - August
Julie Hassman and Joshua Shimkin - September
Wendy Atkinson - October

They all received a bottle of 2012 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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