Mabalel Pinot Noir

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 (2018)

Aromas of tomato leaf, cranberry and sour cherry combine with orange peel, steely gun flint and light cedar notes on the palate. Gentle stem use allows the subtler fruit to emerge, supported by tart acidity and fine tannins. Lean, savoury and elegant, the wine will drink well through 2026.


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.

Technical Analysis

pH 3.60
alc% 13.49%
Total acidity 5.1 g/l

Total sulphites 48 mg/l
Residual sugar 1.8 g/l