Bubbles and celebrations go hand in hand and there is no bigger night in which to quaff fizz than New Year's Eve. As the rest of the world wakes up to the fact that South Africa makes extraordinarily good fizz, there is no need to splash out on Moet or Veuve when we have just as good sparkling wines here at home. In fact, so good are our fizzes that two of them have just been awarded the highest accolade in SA - a Platter Five Star! Whatever kind of sparkling wine you enjoy, there are plenty to choose from at every level and style And if you are feeling brave and want to try the ultimate cool party trick, then click here for instructions on how to sabrage a bottle of fizz!
Here are my notes on the two new 5 star wines, plus another few new and delicious examples.
Topiary Blanc de Blanc Brut 2008 ***** R85 from specialist wine shops
A new winery in Franschhoek with an exciting and dynamic young winemaker, Chris Albrecht. This is only just Brut and contains a surprising amount of sugar, but with its zippy acidity, fresh citrus flavours and excellent length, you’d never notice it. Fantastic wine and well-deserved accolade.
Villiera Brut Monro 2005***** R110 cellar door price. Also available from Ultra Liquors, Picardi and other good retailers.
Always a classy number, this one is 60% Pinot and 40% barrel-fermented Chardonnay. After five years on the lees, it is rich and tangy with plenty of yeasty flavours, good acidity and excellent length. This is pretty much as good as it gets and frankly, I could drink it forever. A steal at this price.
Viljoensdrift Villion 2006 R90 from the farm
This is a first for Viljoensdrift – in fact, there are three new MCC’s all on adjoining farms in Robertson (De Wetshof, Van Loveren and Viljoensdrift), all of them made from chardonnay and all of them really very good indeed. This has been kept on the lees for 2 years and is creamy and soft with lively acidity and pleasant apple pie flavours.
De Wetshof Brut 2007 R200 from Makro, Ultra Liquors and other wine retailers.
This is the first MCC released by De Wetshof – but not the first one they’ve made. Danie de Wet’s winemaker son, Peter, made his first fizz when he was just 14 years old! This is made from 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir and spent three years on the years acquiring lovely flavours of freshly baked biscuits and crisp green apples.
Weltevrede Entheos NV R80 from the farm
One of the top MCC men in SA, Philip Jonker makes a full range of styles. This is his ‘entry level’ one if such a prosaic term can be used for such awesome wine. Made from 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir, it is rich and creamy and enlivened with fresh yellow fruit and a crisp, dry finish. Very classy indeed.
Kloovenburg White from Red Brut NV R74 from the farm
This isn’t a Cap Classique but is a very tasty and good value alternative and an extremely delicious drink. Made from Shiraz, the juice is all free run to make a delicate wine with plenty of strawberry fruit, a rounded mouthfeel and a zingy finish. Nice stuff and very smart packaging too.
Solms-Astor Cape Jazz Shiraz NV R50 from all major retail outlets
I am so surprised at myself for recommending this wine, but after last month’s Vin-atics dinner – I can do nothing less!! This is a great food wine – honestly – and I can’t believe how well it went with the mild Moroccan flavours of the meal. If you just want to enjoy the soft, sweet black cherry flavours on their own, that’s fine but I definitely recommend you get cooking – all the recipes are here!