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I drink a LOT of bubbles. Like, a LOT – if you know what I mean. It’s very seldom that you catch me without a bottle or two in the fridge – because who can ever stop at one bottle? – and I am always keen to try new ones. I’ve been lucky enough to try some interesting ones this year both in my capacity as Amorim MCC judge, Platter taster and just lucky wine journo, so here are a few I think you should and could try this festive season.
Pierre Jourdan Brut NV R100
What would a fizz round-up be without a mention of PJ?? For many people, their favourite bubbly (as well as their favourite still wine), this is benefiting from a new hand at the tiller (cellarmaster Takuan von Arnim) which will result in slightly longer lees-time and more complexity and freshness. This is well on the way to that goal and is a lovely, light, all-day, every-day fizz at a great price. Enjoy.
Uitkyk Glass Memoires MCC 2012 R140
Named for the romantic messages etched on the windows of the Uitkyk manor house, this is a wine with lots going on. Some oak influence, a fair bit of malo and then 3.5 years on the lees all add up to plenty of palate weight and complexity lifted by a light lemon freshness. Hints of red fruit from the 58% Pinot Noir round off a very satisfying and well-priced wine.
Bottega Extra Dry Prosecco DOC R220
Okay, we’re zipping overseas briefly here but hey – it’s bubbles, it’s New Year so why not?? This is one of the world’s fastest growing wine styles and rumour has it that supply is outstripping demand at the moment so if you want to see what all the fuss is about, grab a bottle of this now. From the Veneto region of North-east Italy, it’s made in a large tank to preserve the fresh peachy notes of the fruit and is the perfect appetiser for any New Year’s Eve party.
Stofberg Family Vineyards MCC 2013 R225
A maiden bubbly from a lady doing very interesting things over in the Breedekloof – such an exciting renaissance going on over there! It’s 100% Chardonnay and spent more than is necessary on the lees – almost 3 years. I really enjoyed this wine – wonderful depth of flavour and richness balanced by fresh lemon-zest acidity. Roll on future vintages if this is what they’re like!
Rickety Bridge Blanc de Blanc 2012 R240
This is the follow-up to the first vintage – which also did extremely well in the Amorim MCC challenge – I guess we like Wynand’s wines! Made from 100% Chardonnay and left on the lees for a just over 3 years, this has also had some time in barrel which adds in greater complexity and richness. Lovely persistence, classy stuff.
La Motte MCC 2013 R299
Another Chardonnay from Franschhoek – gosh, they’re doing well with that variety these days!! This is a very elegant wine which spent a lengthy period on lees before being disgorged and sent to the shelves. It’s a lovely-looking bottle too (not that that is always necessary or even indicative of good quality but quite nice at this time of year) so you can always gift it if you can bear to give it away!
Krone RD 2001 R350
Surely this must have had the longest lees-time of any available South African MCC?? The ‘RD’ bit means ‘recently disgorged’ i.e. within the last few months so the wine has spent a whopping 15 years in contact with the yeasty, salty lees. It’s rich and complex and, because of the extended lees time, has very little sugar added which gives it even more salty tang. I loved it – it’s my kind of fizz – and if you like fizz with feeling, I’d suggest you’ll love it too
- Cathy Marston