International Recognition for Hannibal, Bouchard Finlayson Red

Hannibal, Bouchard Finlayson’s unique red blend, received another international nod recently when Neal Martin of Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, scored the 2014 vintage at 91 points in the April 2017 report.  The same wine did equally well last year when it received 93 points from James Suckling; and 92 points in the Tim Atkin SA 2016 Report. It was also honoured by inclusion in the prestigious SA Sommeliers Selection in 2016.

I was lucky enough to do a 750ml vs Magnum tasting of Hannibal 2009 and 2013 at Open Door Restaurant in Constantia and it is as good as they say it is! 

Originally prompted by the classic taste and palate of Italian varieties Sangiovese and Nebbiolo, the importation of these grape varieties in 1989 led to the development of this highly successful red blend, with the first commercial launch of the Hannibal label 12 years later. The name Hannibal was adopted as a symbolic expression of the synergy with the African elephant participating in linking the wine lands of France and Italy together two thousand years ago under the invading command of the classic Carthaginian general.

The 2014 vintage comprises 33% Sangiovese, 22% Pinot noir, 18% Shiraz, 17% Nebbiolo, 6% Mourvédre and 4% Barbera. Surprisingly accessible and arguably the earliest drinking version of Hannibal to date, the wine is medium bodied with spicy tones overlaying a gentle silky, ‘leather feel’ back palate, which is emphasized by olive and black cherry tainted, cranberry laced flavours. The wine is available at the Bouchard Finlayson cellar door at R286 per bottle.

Founder and cellarmaster of Bouchard Finlayson, Peter Finlayson, has produced 17 vintages of Hannibal. Asked what makes the wine special, he says: ‘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 Mourvédre create further interest and the Pinot noir makes this blend quite unique! It is aromatic and firm with notable ‘fruits-of-the-forest’ character and a long lasting finish.’

If you have not yet tried their Pinot Noir, I suggest you do! 

Two of Bouchard Finlayson’s chardonnays also received excellent scores from Neal Martin in Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate 2017 report – both Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale 2015 and Crocodile’s Lair/Kaaimansgat 2015 scoring 90 points each, whilst the latter also received a Gold Award in the 2017 International Wine Challenge.


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, 22 hectares (54 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; or visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *