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Friday, 28 May 2021

Three South African Sparklers

Three traditional method fizzes from South Africa

South Africa has the planet's oldest soils and its winemaking dates back to the 1600s.

As well as the usual table wines, it also makes a traditional method fizz, with in-bottle fermentation; previously known as MCC, it is now called Cap Classique.

2021 is a landmark year for South Africa’s premium sparkling wine producers as they celebrate 50 years. Bottle-fermented and produced using the Methode Champenoise, they compete in quality with the world’s top sparkling wines but don’t carry the price tag. They are hailed as ‘the world’s best value bubbles’, offering the perfect celebratory bottle for those reuniting after time spent apart.

The elegant aperitif

Laborie (KWV) Laborie Blanc de Blancs 2015 (c. £15, Majestic)

Made from just Chardonnay grapes (aka "Blanc de Blancs"), it is a warmer-climate Champagne-alike with more generous flavours; ripe orchard fruits, green apples and pears with citrus and classic biscuity-yeasty nutty brioche.


Drink as an aperitif.

The food wine

Villiera Tradition Brut NV (£16 - £18 Simply Wines Direct, Handford Wines, Broadway Wines)

Aromatic with green apple and ripe orchard fruits, citrus and toasty brioche; baked apple fruit sprinkled with sugar and sweet spices, gingerbread and creamy-nutty oatmeal. Ripe, weighty and full with some residual sugar but cut through with fresh acidity to a dry finish.

Thoroughly enjoyable.

Match with seafood vol-au-vents or salmon en croute.

The pink one

Pongracz Brut Rosé NV (£15 - £18, Harvey Nichols, Master of Malt, The Champagne Company)

Chardonnay - Pinot Noir rosé blend from Stellenbosch.

Red berries, orchard fruits and citrus with yeasty brioche; full, complex and rounded; elegant, fresh and linear with  bright acidity and saline-minerality.


Match with mixed starters and buffet food.

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