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Under the Influence of Cap Classique bubbly

In the effervescent world of sparkling wines, Cap Classique stands as a beacon of South African excellence, captivating palates worldwide with its refined taste and storied heritage. We are so grateful to work with some of the leading examples of Cap Classique from the country. Let's dive into some of the technical terms associated with bubbly with Penny, in our Cellar studio, in our wine glossary series. We then taste a beautiful example from L'Ormarins.

"Blanc de Blanc" is a term commonly associated with sparkling wines, particularly Champagne and other traditional method sparkling wines. Translated from French, it means "white of whites." In the context of sparkling wine production, Blanc de Blanc specifically refers to a wine made exclusively from white grapes, most commonly Chardonnay.

"Non-vintage" (often abbreviated as "NV") is a term commonly used in the wine world, particularly in sparkling wines like Champagne, Cap Classique, and other traditional method sparkling wines. It refers to wines made from a blend of grapes harvested in different years, rather than from a single vintage year. The idea is to showcase consistency of style, as many bubbly producers have a "house style" that they want to stick to.

In summary, while both brut and demi-sec sparkling wines share the effervescence and elegance characteristic of traditional method sparkling wines, they differ significantly in terms of sweetness level. Brut wines are dry and crisp, whereas demi-sec wines offer a sweeter, more indulgent taste experience. The choice between brut and demi-sec ultimately depends on personal preference and the occasion for which the wine is being served.

Some notes from the winemaker for your interest:

Produced in Franschhoek's Anthonij Rupert Cap Classique Cellar, La Garonne. The grapes are all hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed. The best juice (Tête de Cuvée) from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir was settled overnight before being racked off its lees for fermentation. Only the finest fermented base wine, characterised by finesse and elegance, was chosen.

Tasting notes:

Pale lemon colour, bright and clear, with a hypnotic steady stream of vigorous, fine bubbles. The nose offers up subtle orange blossom with marmalade and oyster shell nuances mingling with baked sourdough bread. Vibrant, energetic fizz with grapefruit, lemon and lime vivacity in the mouth. A trace of salinity is present too, adding to the enjoyment of the crunchy zip and vitality. It then segues into a richer, creamier, genteel and silky smooth mouthful of lees, toast and baked bread tinged with a twist of citrus zest. The maritime notes of briny sea air and oyster shell are present too. Succulent and fresh but also taut, crisp and dry. Lovely tension and restraint but with power and generosity too. Seamless integration and marvelous refinement and persistence of flavour.


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