"There really is more to the great world of wine than the confinement to one cultivar. Blending is much like an exploratory kitchen's delight!" - Peter Finlayson
It was at the most recent Tutored Tasting at Cucina de Ciro in Johannesburg that ten different vintages of our Hannibal blend stood proud. Boasting with a fruits-of-the-forest character and a firm structure, the wines showed beautifully on the evening of the tasting and the tasters delighted!
This wine, inspired by the what have often been referred to as the most noble Italian grape varietals, Nebbiolo and Sangiovese, has in most years contained two-thirds Italian varietals and a third French varietals.
Heart and soul of this wine is truly Italian – it is not to heavy, but is very firmly structured, making it a perfect partner to Italian tomato or creamy dishes and red meat dishes.
The blend derives its name from the intriguing story of the conquering of the Carthaginian General Hannibal, who rode on African elephants from France to Italy over the Alps on his way to battle the Romans.
Equally outrageous perhaps of Peter Finlayson to create this French / Italian blend, which was at the time received with critical acclaim by the South African fraternity.
How did this blend come about?
Peter enjoyed the less full, more structured Italian wines and starting importing the first Sangiovese and Nebbiolo into this country in 1989. The plant material took five years to be prepared, then another three years until grapes could be harvested and wine made.
In 1997, the first two barrels were made – one barrel each of Sangiovese and one Nebbiolo.
At first Peter blended this wine with some Pinot noir and later as the Italian plantations increased in size, the blend became bigger. At first, only enjoyed by the investors and by lucky cellar visitors, who found these unlabeled bottles quite quaffable.
After four years of experimentation, the first blend was released in 2002: the Bouchard Finlayson 2001 Hannibal.
What makes this blend so interesting?
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 Mouvedre create further interest and the Pinot noir makes this blend unique! It is aromatic and firm with notable “fruits-of-the-forest” character and a long, lasting finish…
Visit us to taste our current vintages of Hannibal!