Hannibal, Bouchard Finlayson’s iconic Italian red blend, created a stir when Peter Finlayson released the first vintage 18 years ago. Today, with Chris Albrecht as winemaker at the helm, Hannibal is as consistent and popular as ever, with the newly released 2017 vintage expected to be another best seller within the Bouchard Finlayson stable.
The intriguing name, Hannibal, is a symbolic expression of the synergy with the African elephant linking the winelands of France and Italy together two thousand years ago under the invading command of the classic Carthaginian general.
The 2017 vintage comprises 39% Sangiovese, 18% Pinot Noir, 18% Shiraz, 15% Nebbiolo, 5% Mourvédre and 5% Barbera.
Says Chris Albrecht: ‘Using six Italian cultivars and compiling the final blend, is a rigorous affair that stretches over a number of days. This vintage saw two Italians assist with harvest on their internship, which I believe particularly benefited the Hannibal.
My overriding winemaking philosophy is to focus on the small things, and so various possible combinations were tasted, until this particular blend showed itself as superior. It is a classic Hannibal vintage, sporting cherry and plum compote aromas, a saline edge and clean leather adding depth of flavour.’
The entry is subtle, offering rounded yet notable tannins, building towards the finish and interspersed with bright freshness. Considered as the perfect match to red meat dishes, as well as chevre cheese, and Aubergine and mozzarella bake, it’s a wine that leaves you contemplating its complex nature.
Available at the cellar door at R331 per bottle, the 2017 Hannibal will age exceptionally well.