Introducing Cuvée Clive, the epitome of winemaking craft, culture and class

Over the years Graham Beck Wines has earned a reputation as one of South Africa’s leading Cap Classique producers, while establishing a loyal following amongst lovers of this time honoured style of wine across the globe. Throughout the world our bubblies mark milestones, celebrate special moments and bear witness to memories in the making.

Undoubtedly the wines that incite the most interest in a sparkling wine range are the prestige cuvées or cuvée speciale. These wines are a result of a favourable vintage and most certainly not produced year-in and year-out. They represent stricter selection than for the normal vintage wine and reflect extreme care in the cellar and the pursuit of even greater excellence.

Lovers of fine bubblies produced in the traditional Méthode Champenoise manner are familiar with the terms Cuvée Prestige or Tête de Cuvée. Loosely translated Tête de Cuvée means ‘head of the class’. These precious bottles are nothing less than the very best of the best. As most are vintage wines, they take on the characteristics of an individual vintage and differ from previous bottlings.

The Cuvée Clive is a culmination of years of meticulous preparation and attention to detail. In 1991 Graham Beck Wines commenced the quest to produce world class Cap Classiques. Our soil is blessed with a unique limestone character which ensures natural acidity in the grapes. On our farm, Madeba, in Robertson we have been busy renewing our Cap Classique vineyards, planting better, more virus resistant material to improve the overall quality of the grapes harvested.

Since 2002 we have consistently reaped the benefits of these changes and witnessed a significant step towards different flavours and increased quality on both the Pinot Noir and the Chardonnay – our Cap Classique building blocks. The Chardonnay contributes elegance and fruit finesse, while the Pinot Noir provides body, structure and length of flavour.

“When describing our prestige cuvée, Cuvée Clive, it is difficult to speak in absolutes because there are no laws specifically governing its production,” comments Graham Beck Wines cellarmaster Pieter “Bubbles” Ferreira. “Only the most superior, highest quality juice from the first pressing is used, while different little parcels from the new clones are considered for this. That initial and highest quality juice is known as tête de cuvée (head of the cuvée) and brings out the minerality, elegance and finesse in the Cuvée Clive,” explains Pieter.

Cuvée Clive is a brut with a minimum amount of sugar added at disgorgement. The small dosage is possible thanks to the quality of the grapes selected and the time it spent on the lees, in our cool cellars. Cuvée Clive is produced in limited (exclusive) quantities and mostly only in vintage years which the winemaking team has deemed suitable for the production of this special cuvée. The 2003 Cuvée Clive is our maiden vintage.

Prestige Cuvées are often named after notable people with a link to that producer, for instance Veuve Clicquot’s La Grande Dame and Pol Roger’s Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill. Cuvée Clive is named in honour of Graham and Rhona Beck’s oldest son, Clive, who died tragically in his 30s. As we are a committed family wine business we felt it only fitting to dub this icon wine Clive.

“How can it be so complex, so subtle, yet mature?” That’s the wonderful paradox of Cuvée Clive Vintage 2003! The wine is extremely approachable and round – young, certainly, but with the potential to age, extremely versatile with food and good from the get-go. It has undoubtedly achieved the fundamental prerequisite of that which defines a prestige cuvée: complexity.

Each bottle of Cuvée Clive is packaged in an elegant gift box. Only the finest materials have been used in these special presentation packs to complement the superior quality of the wine.

Cuvée Clive represents the pinnacle of our Cap Classique craft.


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