Clearly my reputation as a sparkling wine lover is getting noticed because I’m lucky enough to have received loads of lovely fizzes to review recently. Bring ‘em on – that’s what I say, because the more bubbles there are, the better I like it.
Here are a few goodies of all different styles which have come my way recently.
De Krans Moscato Perlé 2014 (R40)
In my opinion, we should be making more wines like this. Perfectly priced for newbie wine drinkers, its easy-to-understand grape flavours and sweet fruity appeal makes for the fastest-growing wine style in the world at this moment.
Krone Night Nectar Demi-sec MCC 2011 (R110)
New packaging and new look for this venerable old Cape fizz family name, now available in a pleasantly off-dry version which is crying out for strawberries, meringues, cheesecake and lots of other summer desserts. If you find most fizzes are a bit too tart, give this one a go this year.
Kloovenburg White from Red NV (R86)
This isn’t an MCC (and is priced accordingly) but it’s a very interesting wine made from 100% Shiraz grapes – something not normally used for sparklers. It’s nicely packaged and presented and you get a lovely fresh and fruity mouthful with nice bubbles at a good price.
Allée Bleue Brut Rosé 2012 (R110)
There are 2 fizzes at Allee Bleue and this is the fresh, fruity, early-drinking version. It’s made from predominantly Pinotage and deliberately only left on the lees for a short time in order to keep the bright, bubbly fruit and make it an easy-drinking, crowd-pleasing fizz all round.
Pongracz Rosé (R130 full bottle, R75 half bottle)
Normally I can quaff a full bottle of bubbles with ease, but sometimes – just sometimes – a half bottle is more suitable. Not many people do little bottles of bubbly but good old Pongracz will never let you down giving lots of frothy strawberries with an appetising dry finish.
Paul Rene MCC (R140)
This is a new fizz from the fizz capital of SA – Robertson Valley. Made on Wonderfontein farm, it’s been 20 months on the lees and is made from 100% Chardonnay. I found it to be crisp and appetising with good brioche notes and a clean lemony finish. Top tip – if you have kids, buy 6 bottles and watch them fight over the fab treasure-chest boxes!
Avondale Armilla MCC 2009 (R198)
This is the maiden vintage from these biodynamic producers in Paarl and it’s an absolute cracker. Made from Chardonnay and aged on the lees for a whopping 5 years, it’s savoury and lip-smacking whilst being balanced by elegant yellow fruits and a crispy-clean finish. A lovely new special occasion wine for Spring.
Bottega Prosecco Gold NV (R379.99)
If you want to wow someone this Spring, this is the wine to do it. Packaged in an eye-catching gold bottle, this wine from north-east Italy is made from the Glera grape and is lightly peachy with lots of crunchy apples and pears. Not an everyday price (although they do have cheaper ones in their range) but so glam, it just HAS to be done dahling!!
Pierre Jourdan Brut NV (R110)
There are not many bigger names in SA bubbly that Haute Cabrière’s Pierre Jourdan. This perennial favourite continues to make friends wherever it goes, with its lashings of fresh yellow fruit with a touch of lemon curd and ginger cream biscuits. Drier than many other bubbles, it’s a great wine for oysters and smoked salmon.
JC Le Roux Scintilla 2008 (R175)
I make no bones about the fact that I’m not greatly enamoured about the packaging on most of this big brand’s products but I can always make exceptions when it comes to this wine. Anyone who thinks that big operations can’t make beautiful wines needs to catch a wake-up and get a bottle of this. Pure bubblicious pleasure.
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- Cathrine Shone