There is something magical about a bottle-fermented sparkling wine, even for the novice drinker. It could be the mesmerising stream of fine bubbles, vibrant fruit, piercing acidity, leesy richness, or the synergy between these dimensions. Maybe it’s the touch of luxury it brings to any occasion. Whatever the success recipe, it is certainly a wine loved all over the world. Not least in SA, where it has been one of the fastest-growing wine categories in recent years.
Cap Classique (MCC) is SA’s version of sparkling wines made according to the traditional French method (Méthode Champenoise). One of the country's most established Cap Classique producers is Boschendal, which has been perfecting the style since 1981 and is the second-oldest producer of this style.
Making wines celebrated locally and abroad, Boschendal Jean Le Long Prestige Cuvée 2008 — a blanc de blanc — was named the Best in Class at the Amorim Cap Classique Challenge in 2019. The soon to be released vintage, Jean Le Long Prestige Cuvée 2009 also received a noteworthy score of 95 from Tim Atkin MW, a prestigious international report, which also awarded the rest of the Boschendal Cap Classique portfolio an impressive 92 points each.
The Boschendal Cap Classique range includes the vintage Grande Cuvée Brut — which is currently on 2014 vintage — and non-vintage Boschendal Brut, Brut Rosé and decadently sweet demi-sec Luxe Nectar.
According to the Boschendal Cap Classique winemaker, Danielle Jacobs, Cap Classique is a specialised winemaking category that requires a hands-on approach. “The fact that Boschendal has a dedicated Cap Classique winemaker shows that it is an important focus point for the winery, and helps ensure that every bottle, which is basically a fermentation in itself, receives the attention that it deserves.”
“Our bubblies are produced with meticulous attention to detail and from specific blocks on the Boschendal Estate. Though intervention is required in creating a fine premium mousse — our focus remains on producing wines that respect the natural processes and terroir characteristics.”
The long lees contact the wines receive is another hallmark of Boschendal bubbles. The non-vintage wines spend an average of 15 months sur lie, with the Grand Cuvée a minimum of three years and the Jean Le Long a minimum of five years. This extended time on the yeast particles helps to develop the wines' detailed secondary flavours and textured mouthfeel.
“It takes time and patience to make a polished Cap Classique,” says Jacobs, “and this is definitely one of the reasons our wines are so acclaimed and sought-after”.
On September 1 Boschendal celebrates International Cap Classique day — and what better way to do this than with a glass of Boschendal bubbles.
For more information visit: shop.boschendalwines.com
* This article was paid for by Boschendal.