Mabalel is named after a poem by the legendary South African polymath Eugene Marais, which tells the story of a local chieftain’s daughter of the same name who was ambushed while fetching water from the Limpopo river by the crocodile, Lalele. The vineyard is planted on ‘Kaaimansgat’ farm – meaning Crocodile’s lair – and a river flows past the vineyard. The site is 700m high and surrounded by dramatic mountains, with peaks that are are often snow-capped in winter.
Latest release (2019)
An intense and focused vintage showing off its dramatic terroir. Distinctive from the 2018 in its more savoury leanings. Sour cherry, plum, blackcurrant, tomato leaf and dark chocolate on the nose lead into a decadent palate with sweet spice, soy and liquorice. The trademark structure is there with ripe tannins and a bracing, fresh acidity promising ageing through 2030.
Fermented using only native yeasts and with a far lower portion of the fruit kept as whole clusters (10%) than the other Crystallum cuvées. The total time in tank was 29 days with a 14 day post-fermentation maceration. The wine was then transferred to barrel (20% new) where it remained for 11 months before bottling.