Amorim MCC Public Tasting 2018

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The annual Amorim MCC tasting took place at the Taj Cape Town where we tasted some of this year’s award-winning bubblies.

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There was a total of 127 entries in this year’s annual Amorim Méthode Cap Classique Challenge. The only competition committed exclusively to the Cap Classique category, the Amorim Cap Classique Challenge is sponsored by Portugal-based cork company Amorim. This was the 17th year South Africa’s producers of bottle-fermented sparkling wine took part in this popular competition.

As a cork producer, Amorim believes that a natural cork adds value to a bottle of wine by endorsing the product with a closure that represents tradition and quality. This is what Cap Classique does for the South African wine industry: it adds value and at a time when there is great pressure on producers to do just that,” said Joaquim Sá, MD of Amorim South Africa.

We were welcomed with a glass of bubbly and some delicious canapés as we took our seats. The evening kicked off with a warm welcome from Elunda Basson (Pongrácz) and Paul Gerber (Le Lude). They spoke about how Cap Classique is made and how we have a diverse environment that enables producing a variety and different styles of wine.

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The first flight of Blanc de Blancs were poured and we tasted from latest to earliest vintage.

ANNA CARIN MCC BLANC DE BLANC 2015
This MCC is from Pierre Simond Wines and uses the Durbanville microclimate to produce wines with elegance and finesse.

Aromas of green apple combine with biscuity flavours from the lees maturation, to create a wine that is complex and refreshing. The full mouthfeel can be attributed to malolactic fermentation and 17 months of lees maturation in bottle. The tantalizingly delicate bubbles in the wine, rounds off the taste experience.

🏅Blanc de Blanc Gold Medal Winner

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GRAHAM BECK BLANC DE BLANCS 2013
Rich aromas of fresh lime and ripe apricot fruit on the nose. An exciting fine mousse with an explosion of tangerines on the palate. Great brioche and yeast complexity broaden the palate, leading to a long, elegant finish.

A delicious Cap Classique created with 100% Chardonnay. Only the Cuvée juice (premium juice – first 450 liters per ton) is selected for fermentation. 50% of the wine is fermented in a specific Piece Chamenoise 205 litre barrels to ensure richness and extra dimension of flavour and creamy textures. 7% New Oak, with the average age of the barrels 9 years.

Graham Beck Wines boasts two estates in South Africa, the first in the town of Robertson in the Breede River Valley, and the second in the lush wine region of Stellenbosch’s Helderberg. With varying climates and terrain, the wide selection of varietals produced between the two locations allows Graham Beck to have a unique versatility. CyberCellar takes advantage of Graham Beck’s expansive wine list by stocking their online inventory with a diverse assortment that spans from the more casual to the most esteemed wines.

🏅Blanc de Blanc Gold Medal Winner

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COLMANT BRUT CHARDONNAY NV
Delicate light gold colour with a lime-green hue. The nose is fresh, lemony and floral with notes of green apple, followed by yeasty and biscuity aromas brought by the lengthy maturation on the lees. Very fine bead of bubbles with a persistent mousse. Opulent on the palate, this wine shows a harmonious balance between fresh zestiness, mineral complexity and a warm breadth of leesy creaminess. It promises to develop great texture over time.

Colmant Brut Chardonnay is made from fruit off selected vineyards in Franschhoek and Robertson. The aim is finesse, freshness and elegance on this 100% Chardonnay bubbly. True to house style, a portion of the base wine (15%) was barrel fermented to add a wooded, structured nuance to the final product. Similarly, 20% of the wine is specially selected from the previous year’s harvest, kept in prime French oak for the purpose of adding complexity, intensity and harmony. Rich and creamy toast, brioche character develops as the wine undergoes its long 45 month maturation at a steady 14°C before final release.

🏅Best Blanc de Blanc

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LABORIE MCC BLANC DE BLANC 2011
This complex and indulgent MCC shows clarity of fruit on the nose. Hints of lime are accompanied by aromas of toasted bread and hazelnut. The palate is creamy, round and textured with an explosive acidity and lasting, elegant finish.

Laborie Wine Farm is nestled in the fertile Paarl valley, with the beautiful Paarl rock as background.

🏅Blanc de Blanc Gold Medal Winner

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The second flight consisted of a Rosé and Brut and we also tasted from latest to earliest vintage.

SIMONSIG PINOT NOIR ROSÉ 2017
A subtle fragrance of strawberries and a red berry aroma reveals this cuvée’s red grape origin and gives it an alluring freshness and unparalleled subtlety and finesse on the palate. A mouth-filling roundness shows ample fresh fruit intensity and body, which is perfectly balanced by a subtle acid structure that leads to a crisp, refreshing dry finish.

Simonsig Estate, creators of South Africa’s first MCC more than 40 years ago, made this Pinot Noir Rosé with no-added sulphur, exclusively for Woolworths. It is delicious and extreme care was taken in the whole winemaking process to prevent oxidation and spoilage of the wine as no SO2 is added. It is a mouthful of freshness and finesse. .

🏅Best Rosé

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CLAUDIA BRUT MCC 2012
The Claudia Brut Cap Classique from Domain Des Dieux is a sparkling combination of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Extended contact with fine lees imparts the wine with its luxuriously rich and creamy texture, a beautiful compliment to the fresh apple and lemon curd notes that play out on the nose and palate. The palate showcases an expansive mousse that is both creamy and mineral in nature, performing with pleasing weight as it gently fades into a long, zesty finish which is accented by toasty brioche notes. The Claudia Brut Cap Classique has a beautifully balanced structure and rich, rewarding palate.

An amalgamation of superb quality grapes, infinite patience, and adoration for champagne, created the backdrop for Domaine des Dieux to authoritatively evolve as the initial producer of MCC in the Hemel en Aarde province. Domaine des Dieux produces a boutique range of prize winning, top-end quality wines. All wines are cellar aged so that they can achieve their full potential.

🏅Best Brut Winner

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LOURENSFORD MCC CHARDONNAY 2012
Yeasty flavours of freshly baked bread, lemon cream, Pink Lady apples on the nose and hints of citrus, pineapple and kiwi fruit on the pallet. The wine finishes rich and leaves a creamy aftertaste.

Lourensford Wine Estate is an absolutely magnificent estate nestled in the heart of the Helderberg bowl.

🏅Brut Gold Medal Winner

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VILLIERA MONRO BRUT 2011
Villiera’s prestige cuvée, the award-winning Monro Brut, is a sensationally rich and smooth MCC. The blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir is partially barrel fermented and spends an incredible six years on lees. Delicate yeasty aromas greet the nose immediately, following through on to a full, creamy and slightly savoury palate. It shows sun-kissed fruit flavours that are layered between elegant toasted oak and savoury notes, creating a powerful and intense midpalate to contrast the beautifully fine bubbles. This sublime sparkling wine shows wonderful longevity on the palate, articulating its complex flavour profile with finesse as it fades into a lingering finish.

A Prestige cuvee, produced whenever conditions favour the production of fine sparkling wine. The name is a family name which the Griers are proud to associate with their flagship. This Cap Classique is made with maturation potential in mind.

🏅Brut Gold Medal Winner

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This is a unique opportunity to taste the top MCCs in South Africa – all in one room! Producing Cap Classique of exceptional quality is something the wine industry should be immensely proud of. Every celebration deserves a glass of bubbly or two!

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