Hannibal, Bouchard Finlayson’s unique red blend, received another international nod recently when Neal Martin of Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, scored the 2014 vintage at 91 points in the April 2017 report. The same wine did equally well last year when it received 93 points from James Suckling; and 92 points in the Tim Atkin SA 2016 Report. It was also honoured by inclusion in the prestigious SA Sommeliers Selection in 2016.
Originally prompted by the classic taste and palate of Italian varieties Sangiovese and Nebbiolo, the importation of these grape varieties in 1989 led to the development of this highly successful red blend, with the first commercial launch of the Hannibal label 12 years later. The name Hannibal was adopted as a symbolic expression of the synergy with the African elephant participating in linking the wine lands of France and Italy together two thousand years ago under the invading command of the classic Carthaginian general.
The 2014 vintage comprises 33% Sangiovese, 22% Pinot noir, 18% Shiraz, 17% Nebbiolo, 6% Mourvédre and 4% Barbera. Surprisingly accessible and arguably the earliest drinking version of Hannibal to date, the wine is medium bodied with spicy tones overlaying a gentle silky, ‘leather feel’ back palate, which is emphasized by olive and black cherry tainted, cranberry laced flavours. The wine is available at the Bouchard Finlayson cellar door at R286 per bottle.
Founder and cellarmaster of Bouchard Finlayson, Peter Finlayson, has produced 17 vintages of Hannibal. Asked what makes the wine special, he says: ‘It is the Sangiovese which shows sleek racy fruit and tannin structure, subtle bouquet of flowers and prunes. Nebbiolo enhances further tannin structure and complexity. The Barbera, Syrah and Mourvédre create further interest and the Pinot noir makes this blend quite unique! It is aromatic and firm with notable ‘fruits-of-the-forest’ character and a long lasting finish.’
Two of Bouchard Finlayson’s chardonnays also received excellent scores from Neal Martin in Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate 2017 report – both Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale 2015
and Crocodile’s Lair/Kaaimansgat 2015 scoring 90 points each, whilst the latter also received a Gold Award in the 2017 International Wine Challenge.
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