Facinating line up!

At our last tastings at Colmant in Franschhoek we were treated to a facinating line up of Champagnes, Cap Classique and other Sparkling Wines of the FCCCC (Franschhoek Champagne Cap Classique Club). Thanks to JeanPhilipe’s preparartion he had us thinking through the whole evening! Here follows the wines tasted and some information on each of them:

1. CREMANT DE BOURGOGNE LOUIS BOUILLOT BLANC DE BLANCS NV R 255 – Norman Goodfellows

Varietal(s): 95% Chardonnay & 5% Aligoté 24 Months on the lees Nose: This blanc de blancs is very different in character from the other pearls in our collection; its herbaceous color translates into the nose where very soft citrus notes mingle with the essence of fresh, dewey grass and aromas of fresh cracked nuts. Palate: The mouth is crisp with a bright acidity playing beautifully alongside flavors of pink grapefruit.

2. CAP CLASSIQUE COLMANT BRUT CHARDONNAY NV R145 100% CHARDONNAY

Grapes From Franschhoek (Colmant/Chamonix) and Robertson (Bruwer) 42 months on the lees Degorged 10 November 2009 – to be released March/April 2010 Dosage 6,0 g/l Delicate light gold colour with a lime-green hue. The nose starts with fresh lemony, floral and green apple notes followed by yeasty and biscuity aromas brought by the lenghty maturation on the lees. Very fine bead of bubbles with a persistent mousse. Opulent on the palate, this wine shows an harmonious balance between the fresh zestiness, the mineral complexity and a warm breath of leesy creaminess. It promises to develop great texture over the years.

3. CAP CLASSIQUE VILLIERA BLANC DE BLANCS 2005 “SHOOTING STAR”

Special Release for the Cape Winemakers Guild’s Auction R400 100% Chardonnay 27 months on the lees and 2 years on the cork. Winemaking Notes: Slightly unripe, healthy fruit was whole bunch pressed in a pneumatic bag press. Only the Cuvée (500 litres/ton) was settled and naturally fermented. After stabilisation and addition of the liqueur de tirage, the wine was bottled for second fermentation. After 27 months on the lees, this sparkling wine was riddled and disgorged. Dosage ensured perfect balance and a further 2 years on the cork has resulted in peak maturity. Tasting Notes: Rich, creamy, yeasty nose with a full, ripe toasty flavour on the palate, developing finesse and complexity on the aftertaste. Powerful and bracing to drink now but could develop more intensity with another year in the bottle.

4. CHAMPAGNE JACQUESSON BLANC DE BLANCS 2000 AVIZE GRAND CRU R825 – CUVEES CLASSIQUES

100% CHARDONNAY 3 parcels in Avize planted between 1962 and 1983 Degorged early 2008 Dosage 3,5 g/l Jacquesson is a privately owned House with a limited annual production of 350,000 bottles. Vineyards totalling 26 hectares in the Grand Cru villages of Aÿ, Avize and Oiry and in the Premier Cru villages of Hautvillers, Dizy and Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. These are complemented by some 15 hectares coming from growers in these same villages as well as in the Grand Cru village of Chouilly and the Premier Cru village of Cumières. A stringent vinification process where the great majority of our wines are vinified in oak and are then aged in bottle for the optimum length of time in our cellars. This allows us to release our vintage cuvées when they are ready to drink and not necessarily in chronological order. Dosage is kept to a minimum to preserve the finesse and purity of the wines ; indeed all our vintage wines can technically be classified as extra-brut.

5. FRANCIACORTA BERSI SERLINI EXTRA BRUT 2002 €22 (R240) – ex cellar

80% CHARDONNAY – 20% PINOT BLANC – 6 years on the lees in underground cellar 8500 bottles produced No dosage Nose : delicate, refined with a fragrance of bread crust, having a light inkling of walnut peel Taste : Great Liveliness, dry and fine, elegant with a loving and long lasting end taste of green almond

6. CHAMPAGNE MAILLY GRAND CRU EXTRA BRUT NV R350 – Colmant

No dosage Chardonnay 25%, Pinot Noir 75% 5 to 6 years on the lees in the underground chalk cellars. The speciality of Mailly Grand Cru. Outstanding balance between maturity, full body and acidity. Unveiling a very fresh and elegant floral nose along with aromas of baked bread, hazelnuts and almonds. It is an uncomplicated wine with great nobility. Champagne Mailly Grand Cru is located in the village of Mailly-Champagne on the Northern slope of the “Grande Montagne de Reims” and is independently owned by 77 vine-growers of the village. As an exceptional and almost unique case in the whole of Champagne, Mailly Grand Cru makes every single of its 500.000 yearly bottles exclusively out of Grand Cru grapes coming from its own vineyards.

7. CHAMPAGNE LALLIER GRAND CRU ZERO DOSAGE NV R670 – Cuvees Classiques

No dosage / 4 years on the lees with a cork stopper Chardonnay 20% – Pinot Noir 80% The House of Champagne Lallier is situated in the Grand Cru village of Ay in the Marne Valley. The House is owned and managed by Francis Tribaut. The vineyards of Lallier are situated on the sunny hillsides of the village of Ay. Lallier owns 10hectares of Grand Cru Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. This zero dosage wine shows a return to a unique French wine-making tradition. Fruit for the cuvee is exclusively Grands Crus. This wine has aged 4 years on lattes with cork stoppers maintained by staples. A feature used particularly when only a limited quantity is being made. The wine undergoes partial malolactic fermentation. The wine displays maturity and delightful elegance. The attack is frank, vivacious and creamy. The aromas are well advanced and the finish has a beautiful minerality.

8. CHAMPAGNE JACQUART EXTRA BRUT NV R630 – Norman Goodfellows

Dosage 5g/l Chardonnay 43% – Pinot Noir 38% – Pinot Meunier 19% The bouquet is delicate with blossom, citrus and white fruits hints, as well as a touch of Viennese pastries. On the palate, the impression is fresh and lively, yet without the slightest aggressiveness, revealing citrus fruits scents and hints of warm, freshly baked bread. For decades now, the basis of Champagne JACQUART’S fortunes has been the ingrained knowledge of their 600 growers to produce the right quality fruit from over 800 hectares stretching across all the main regions of Champagne, especially the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs. Their vineyards are spread over 130 different villages of which 22 are rated as Premier Crus and 10 as Grand Crus. The JACQUART cuvées are made with the utmost care in Reims. More than 30 million bottles are kept 20 metres underground in the three-tiered cellars.

9. CAP CLASSIQUE MOOIPLAS « DUEL » NV (Stellenbosch) R135

Chardonnay 40%, Pinot Noir 60% 20 months on the lees – degorged 26 May 09 Grape Analysis Averages: 19.2° B; pH 3.23; TA 9.55 Almond and honey comb on the nose, also dried peach & apricot. Palate is full and rounded, fine creamy mousse.

10. FRANCIACORTA BERLUCCHI « CUVEE STORICA » NV R351 – Norman Goodfellows

95% chardonnay (of which a small percentage is fermented in oak), 5%pinot noir. Residual sugar 8g/l A soft, creamy mousse with good length, a delicate cordon on the surface, and a lingering cascade of tiny bubbles. Bouquet : Crisp, rich, and elegant, nicely lingering and of fair intensity. Scents of apples and pears, and suggestions of tropical fruit; slight notes of spice. Palate :Appealingly crisp with an attractive acidity, soft and well balanced. Finishes with nuances of citrus fruit.

11. FRANCIACORTA BERSI SERLINI BRUT NV €17 (R185) – ex cellar

80% CHARDONNAY – 20% PINOT BLANC 20 months minimum on the lees in underground cellar 60.000 bottles produced Nose : particular bouquet with a mild fragrance of yeast and shades of brioche Taste : elegant and balanced, rich of fresh fruits qualities with notes of yeast and toasted bread

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