A Reason To Celebate

You know how you only have that one Bulgarian friend (maybe three if you include the rest of her/his family)? Well, mine was finally coming back to town after about 7 months abroad, and I was damn excited to see her. She’d be arriving at about noon this chilly Wednesday, and as is her incredible genius of always finding a way to bring us together, she’d be hosting a small get-together at her place at 6 pm.

 

…The weather had taken another turn for the worst as is custom with the Cape; it poured with an unforgiving ferocity (sadly claiming one fatality that day) as spring morphed into a faint idea. Despite the bitter cold and disheartening cloud cover, Rali loves her bubbles (specifically J.C. Le Roux), and I could bet my left kidney she’d want to be sipping some tonight: Madame Bollinger in her own right…

 

Arriving at her place, I met the ever vivacious Rali, and the incredibly pragmatic Lloyd attempting, with great difficulty, to reconnect the water supply to the house. With the taps dry and nothing to rinse the glasses out with for fruit juice or water, for that matter, we were painfully forced to start with the Bubbles; the alcohol acting as an antiseptic 😀 .

 

La Fleurette
La Fleurette

Without fail, she already had a bottle of La Fleurette seating in the fridge. This is a fun Non Vintage sparkling rosé from, you guessed it, J.C. Le Roux. Non Vintage implies that the grapes that go to make this wine are not particularly from one harvest year (vintage). Instead, they are a composite of a couple of vintages to offer a consistent taste across the years that their patrons have come to expect and venerate (Each vintage could be potentially distinct from the last due to the effect of the prevailing climatic conditions in each year. However, by blending good and bad vintages you can achieve consistency).

 

The wine was carbonated to give its bubbly effervescence, and has a residual sugar content (RS) of 75 grams per litre: this is formally called a Doux, the highest class of sweetness for a bubbly. Mix that with its tropical fruit flavours, and it was a natural hit with all the attendees. No wonder the conversation turned to insults mostly directed to Scandinavians so quickly.

 

Klein Constantia MCC
Klein Constantia MCC

For some variety, I had decided to bring along a slightly more “serious” Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) from Klein Constantia. MCCs (South Africa), as with Caves (singular Cava: Spain) and Crémants (France: regions that are not Champagne), are made in the exact same style that Champagne is made in; known as Méthode Champenoise. It involves a second alcoholic fermentation in the bottle to give it the characteristic bubbles, and add a depth of flavour.

 

We were drinking a 2009 vintage made from 100% Chardonnay that had spent almost two years on the lees (once the second fermentation is completed, the dead yeast cells are left in the bottle to impart flavour to the wine).

 

It being a Brut (about four notches below a Doux on the sugar Richter scale) at a RS of 8.5 grams per litre, I had an inkling not many would take to it as they did the former. Nevertheless, I’d hoped its dazzling character would allure the masses of 4 away from their convention and into the abundant “uncharted” MCC-verse.

 

On the nose it had rich honey comb and brioche flavours, with succulent green apples and a refreshing acidity on the palate. The mid-palate itself was permeated with creamy undertones that ebbed and flowed flirtatiously. Oh, how delicious it drank, with each sip only getting better!! Yet in spite of this, the fall in sweetness proved to be too significant with no one reaching for a second glass. I on the other hand, couldn’t stop “giving it”! Only the thought of the increasingly frequent road blocks held me back.

 

We could have gone on until the morning having munched down the tastiest cannoli and cupcakes. But, we all had some work due – Ross with three weeks’ worth of work to catch up on haha, and Shants half asleep on the couch knowing she had to be up by 5 in the morning. We called it a night at about 9 pm, promising to meet up again… A promise we kept.

 

Thanks to

 

Lily Bollinger “I only drink Champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not in a hurry and drink it when I am, otherwise I never touch the stuff – unless I am thirsty.” 1961

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