Pop some sensational local bubbly this New Year's Eve

Whether you’re searching for good value bubbly or splashing out on some of South Africa’s finest Méthode Cap Classiques (MCCs), you won’t go wrong with any of these summer sparklers

31 December 2018 - 00:00 By Richard Holmes
Bubbly makes any celebration feel that much more special.
Bubbly makes any celebration feel that much more special.
Image: 123RF/beautyblowflow

STEENBERG SPARKLING SAUVIGNON BLANC

Price: R131 ex cellar

Constantia estate Steenberg is renowned for its high-quality bubblies, and this is an excellent entry-level introduction to the cellar.

Unlike most bottle-fermented wines, this accessible sparkling wine is produced from sauvignon blanc, and though it’s made using the traditional Méthode Champenoise of a second fermentation in the bottle, because it spends less time on the lees (the dead yeast cells left behind after fermentation), it’s fresh, dry and lively on the palate. Great value too.

HAUTE CABRIÈRE BELLE ROSE

Price: R135 ex cellar

Achim von Arnim is one of the pioneers of Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) in South Africa, and today his son Takuan continues the family legacy of crafting superb sparkling wines from their cellar on the mountain slopes above Franschhoek.

This MCC is made from 100% pinot noir, delivering a beautiful pink blush to the wine, and a palate brimming with cherry and strawberry notes. A perfect match with summer seafoods.

Graham Beck Brut Zero.
Graham Beck Brut Zero.
Image: Supplied

GRAHAM BECK BRUT ZERO

Price: R370 ex cellar

If you find sparkling wines too sweet for your palate, give the Brut Zero from acclaimed Robertson producer Graham Beck a try. A blend of pinot noir and chardonnay, with no “dosage” – the sweetened wine often added to bubbly just before corking – it’s a bone-dry bubbly packed with minerality, stone fruits and complexity.

TOKARA BLAC DE BLANC

Price: R650 ex cellar

Stellenbosch estate Tokara has raised the bar for high-end MCC with its impressive Blanc de Blanc, made from chardonnay grown in the upper reaches of the cool Elgin valley.

Aside from the grapes, time is the key ingredient here: the base wine was matured for 15 months, before secondary fermentation and four years of bottle maturation on the lees. After corking the wine was then matured for another 17 months before release.

Expect wonderfully fine bubbles, and a palate of almonds, brioche, lemon and lime. One for a special occasion.


This article was originally published in the Sunday Times Neighbourhood: Property and Lifestyle guide. Visit Yourneighbourhood.co.za

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