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South Africa’s Best Pinot Noir: Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak 2016*

South Africa’s Best Pinot Noir: Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak 2016*

I am absolutely mortified, that it was exactly a month ago, when My Boozy Kitchen was invited to be part of the celebration of World Pinot Noir Day. Good grief, where on earth does the time go?  I guess it is true what they say: “Time flies when you are having fun!” 🙂

What an absolute treat it was to be part of something really special. My Boozy Kitchen received a bottle of Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir, and to play along in a Tweet -Up that took place on the 18th of August 2018, which coincided with International Pinot Noir Day.

For the tweet-up we had to prepare a tasty and delicious meal that would pair well with this gorgeous Pinot Noir. We had to show-case our dish along with a glass and bottle of the Galpin Peak Pinot Noir. Then from about 1pm we had to join in on the twitter conversation with Peter Finlayson (founder of Bouchard Finlayson) and winemaker Chris Albrecht. It was lovely to see what everyone had thought about this unique wine, what dish they prepared and how they presented this wine.

This lavish Pinot Noir colour has a rich ruby tone, but yet “transparent”. On the nose you have this amazing earthiness, almost hints of “forest floor”. The wine in itself has a bold complexity and hints of dark red fruit with a savoury mixture of cherries, plums and cinnamon.

This wine pairs well with seared salmon, duck or beef steak. It also goes well with cheese, like Emmental.

Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2016 and My Boozy Kitchen

Galpin Peak Pinot Noir Feast

Ok, so I might have gone a little overboard with my pairing, but I just felt…that this award winning wine, I wanted to do it justice. I have never had such a luxurious Pinot Noir before, and was scared I would mess it up.

Instead I opted a generous Charcuterie spread. A selection of different cheeses like: Double Creamy Camembert, Brie, Goats Cheese, Emmental, Salmon Cream Cheese, Gorgonzola, Raspberry infused Cream Cheese with  pink peppercorns, and lastly Marscapone with green fig preserved and Toasted Peacan Nuts.

The cheese that works well and is almost a perfect match with the Galpin Peak Pinot Noir is Goats Cheese (imported from Netherlands) paired with roasted beetroot humus, making this absolutely sublime. It honestly brings out the flavours of the food. The Camembert, Brie, Emmental, pairs just as well, as it brings out the earthiness of the wine, and the wine brings out the earthiness of the cheese. It is interesting how well they worked together.

The raspberry infused cream cheese, that was utterly intriguing – it seriously brings out the slight hints of Raspberry notes in the wine. It also for some reason, made the wine appear to be sweeter!!

The salmon cream added a lovely touch, which I was pleasantly surprised, as you would not think red wine will work with fish, but it did. Strangely enough, what did not pair well, and made the wine appear to be quite   harsh was the Mascarpone, green fig and pecan nut cheese spread. I am not sure why, but that just didn’t work for us.

I also made my own roasted baby beetroot humus, (recipe to follow), and they mentioned that Liver Pate is a wonderful option for Pinot Noir. Now friends,  I don’t eat liver and can’t stand the taste or texture of liver. I never thought I would ever say this, but I tried a vegan alternative. Exotic Mushroom Pate (recipe to follow soon), WOW- not all vegan products are bad tasting. Both the humus and pate paired so perfectly. The beetroot and mushrooms brought out the earthiness of the wine and it was just beautiful.

Pinot Noir paired with Beetroot Humus
A delicious freshly baked bread with home-made roasted beetroot humus paired with Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2016 – Absolutely delicious!!

I know, friends, I did say I went a little overboard… did I not? That was not all. I then added thinly sliced grilled biltong steak, which I got at my favourite butcher. You always think big bold wines with steak, but keeping this steak very simple… worked. The wine didn’t get lost, and you could pick up the dark red fruits.

How could you have a spread like this with out a freshly baked artisan bread, a couple of dried fruits like black figs and Turkish apricots, a delicious cherry jam that went superb with the blue cheese. It was a feast and we really enjoyed tasting different elements to see what worked best. So thank you again Bouchard Finlayson that we could be part of this wonderful experience. 🙂

The Award Winning Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2016

Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak is a world renown wine. This wine has received recognition internationally and locally. For example at the IWC (International Wine Challenge) was awarded as  South Africa’s Best Red Wine. In addition, International wine critic James Suckling had declared this beauty “outstanding”.  He then scored the Galpin Peak Pinot Noir a 94 point score at his annual show case of great wines of the world.

Locally, it received a FULL 100 marks in the 2018 SAWI Fine Wine Awards (South African Wine Index). Recognized for its consistency, the Galpin Peak has held the No 1 spot for 10 years in a row, this year made no exception! It  scored the 12th highest points across all categories in the SAWI Awards.


  • Gold Medal: International Wine Challenge 2018
  • Trophy – SA Best Red Wine: International Wine Challenge, 2018
  • Trophy – SA Best Pinot Noir: International Wine Challenge, 2018
  • 94Pts – James Suckling, 2018

Adding to the “piece de resistance, is the ideal terror which is the perfect condition for the production of this cultivar. The Hemel-en-Aarde valley receives a lovely cool Atlantic Ocean breeze that moderates the temperatures, adding the with the dense and heavy clay soils. It is no wonder this cultivar is thriving.

Galpin peak Pinot Noir vineyards
Bouchard Finlayson – Vineyard situated in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley has the perfect terroir for the cultivation of Pinot Noir in South Africa.

Not to mention the age-old winemaking techniques from Burgundy in France Bouchard Finlayson continues with high density planting, resulting in greater amounts of vines per hectare, growing smaller berries that produce excellent tannin structure in old world style Pinot: the Galpin Peak Pinot Noir and the iconic Tete de Cuvee.

Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2016 sells at R355 per bottle at the cellar door.


Bouchard Finlayson Pinot Noir
Bouchard Finlayson – Tasting Room

Established in 1989 in the temperate Hemel-en-Aarde Valley on 125 hectares (312 acres) of Walker Bay’s prime viticultural land. Bouchard Finlayson Vineyard and Winery is a small cellar dedicated to the quality production of Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Ever since releasing their first vintages, the name Bouchard Finlayson has been internationally synonymous with excellence. Today, owned by the Red Carnation Hotels’ Tollman family and under the leadership of Victoria Tollman, founder Peter Finlayson and winemaker Chris Albrecht.  25 hectares (62 acres) of the estate are currently under vine with 50% devoted to the varietal for which Peter is most acclaimed – Pinot noir.

Other cultivars under production include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Sangiovese, as well as a handful under exploration. Bouchard Finlayson is a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Conservation Champion.

Situated on the R320 near Hermanus, Bouchard Finlayson vineyard and winery is open for tastings and sales Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 17h00 and on Saturdays from 10h00 to 13h00. For further information, call +27 28 312 3515; email info@bouchardfinlayson.co.za; or visit www.bouchardfinlayson.co.za.

Mini Disclaimer – Even though I received a bottle of Galpin Peak 2016 for  the Tweet Up, I was not asked to write about it in my blog. This review is entirely my own thoughts. I thoroughly enjoyed this wine, and feel that my wine friends could benefit from the recommendation.

– My Boozy Kitchen

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