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Graham Beck Wines’ ultra premium Cuvée Clive goes nationwide

Lovers of fine fizz are undoubtedly bubbling over at the news that the crème de la crème of South Africa’s Cap Classique style wines is now enjoying increased availability. . Graham Beck Wines’ maiden vintage Cuvée Clive 2003 (from the cellar’s Prestige Collection) is distributed exclusively throughout the country by DGB (Pty) Ltd, South Africa’s largest independent wine and spirit producer and distributor.

Although this spectacular sparkler has been available directly from the Graham Beck Wines cellar doors since its release in 2009, the decision to make it more widely available is sure to be hailed as an excellent move by wine lovers everywhere.

“Over the years Graham Beck Wines has definitely earned its status 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. We are thrilled that our bubblies are the drink of choice to mark milestones, celebrate special moments and bear witness to memories in the making. Cuvée Clive represents the pinnacle of our Cap Classique artistic inspiration and creative endeavours – the culmination of meticulous planning, determined effort and tenacious dedication in the pursuit of the perfect bubble,” comments Graham Beck Wines celebrated cellarmaster Pieter “Bubbles” Ferreira.

In 1991 Graham Beck Wines commenced the quest to produce world class Cap Classiques. Their soils possess a unique limestone character which ensures natural acidity in the grapes. On the Beck family farm, Madeba, in Robertson the team has been hard at work renewing their Cap Classique vineyards – planting better, more virus resistant material to improve the overall quality of the grapes harvested.

Since 2002 they have consistently reaped the benefits of these improvements and witnessed a considerable shift towards producing increased quality on both the Pinot Noir and the Chardonnay – the traditional building blocks of their award winning range of Cap Classique wines. The Cuvée Clive 2003 is a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir, with the former contributing elegance and fruit finesse, while the latter lends body, structure and length of flavour.

In the cellar both hand-picked varietals for this exclusive Cap Classique were separately bunch pressed. Only the highest quality juice (tête de cuvée which means ‘head of the class’) was selected and allowed to settle overnight. The juice was then fermented in stainless steel tanks at 16ºC with a small portion of the Chardonnay fermented in specially designated Piece Champenoise (205-liter) French oak barrels.

After fermentation only the very best portions were chosen for their minerality, elegance and finesse. The wine was then bottled for the secondary fermentation to take place, after which it benefited from no less than 60 months yeast contact before disgorgement. The Cuvée Clive is made in the brut style with only a minimal amount of sugar added at disgorgement.

Unquestionably the wines which elicit the greatest admiration in a sparkling wine range are the prestige cuvées or cuvée speciale. These wines are the result of a favourable vintage and only produced in exceptional years. They represent stricter selection than for the normal vintage wine and reflect extreme care in the cellar and the pursuit of even greater excellence.

“How can this remarkable bubbly be so complex, so subtle and, yet, so mature? That’s the alluring paradox of Cuvée Clive Vintage 2003! The wine is irresistibly approachable and well rounded – youthful and gorgeous from the get-go, but with the potential to age. It’s exceptionally versatile – the perfect partner to a wide variety of dishes. Cuvée Clive has undoubtedly achieved the fundamental requirement of that which defines a prestige cuvée – complexity,” explains Pieter.

Prestige Cuvées are often named after prominent characters with a connection 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 30’s. As a committed family wine business Graham Beck Wines felt it only fitting to dub this iconic wine Clive.

Cuvée Clive 2003 is available at bespoke retailers and restaurants, including Makro Woodmead, Norman Goodfellows, Carolines Fine Wine, Wine Concepts on Kloof, Cellars Hohenort Hotel, Cape Grace, Mount Nelson, Parklane Cellars (PMB), etc.  Approximate retail price:  R450 (Incl VAT) per bottle.


One Response

  1. Graham Beck’s bubblies are undoubtedly the finest one could ever wish to taste and if you had to do a blindfold tasting of GB with some of the french bubblies it would stil come out tops and I very much doubt a supposed connisseur woudl even know the difference. YOU ARE THE BEST!!!!

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