Crush’s Top Bottles of Bubbly for Valentine’s 2022

Words: Crush

Our Top Bottles of Bubbly for Valentine’s Day

Nothing says ‘hot date’ like a delicious bottle of bubbly, so theres no wonder that it’s a staple on Valentine’s Day. We love a glass of bubbles, so this is probably one of our favourite round-ups of  the year! We’ve covered all the bases here — from Champagne to MCC to pèttilant naturel.

Graham Beck Pinot Noir Rosé Cap Classique

89% Pinot Noir, 11% Chardonnay 

With its gorgeous salmon pink, sumptuous strawberry notes and rich, creamy complexity, Graham Beck’s award-winning Pinot Noir Rosé Cap Classique represents a pioneering winemaking innovation. There is a delightful anecdote of how once upon a time a small portion of Chardonnay ended up in the Pinot Noir Rosé blend, and legend has it that the winemakers have been making the same ‘mistake’ every since.

As specialists in the Cap Classique craft, Graham Beck have been on the forefront of exciting strides in the evolution of the perfect bubble. Only the finest quality cuvée juice goes into fermentation. This extraordinary bubbly spent five years on the lees before disgorging — One usually think of a Rosé as something that’s enjoyed when young and fruity, but this Cap Classique is a testiment to how the Graham Beck blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (less than 10%) benefits from additional time on the lees.

Tasting notes: The Pinot Noir lends aromas of ripe blueberries and a subtle spiciness while on the palate there is an explosion of raspberry and delicate honeysuckle.

Food pairing suggestions: This Cap Classique pairs beautifully with lightly seared beef, like this Beef Tataki with Crispy Garlic

Retail price: R350 (cellar door price)

Champagne Bollinger Rosé Brut NV

62% Pinot Noir, 24% Chardonnay, 14% Pinot Meunier

The Bollinger Champagne House has been the epitome of prestige and luxury since 1829. Their prestigious champagnes are created with character and elegance in mind and always add sophisticated style to any occasion. The House lets its wines mature for twice as long as the appellation requirement. This is not out of vanity, but because a great wine needs the luxury of time to develop its full character. The subtle red-fruit flavour and refreshing elegance of Champagne Bollinger Rosé make it ideal served for afternoon tea, Bollinger-style.

It is also perfect for a picnic on a summer afternoon, as a pre-dinner drink or served with a fruity and tart dessert.

To fully appreciate its unique style, bouquet and aromas, Bollinger Rosé is best served well chilled. Enjoy it now!

Tasting notes: Champagne Bollinger Rosé perfectly combines power with freshness. The wine has a silky texture and juicy wild berry flavour, a touch of creaminess and a lasting raspberry finish.

Food pairing suggestions: Balances out robust flavours, like this Wagyu Denver Steak Salad with Caramelised Pears, Blue Cheese and Walnuts

Recommended retail price: R1300  incl. VAT /

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Rosé Brut NV

45% Pinot Noir, 45% Pinot Meunier, 10% Chardonnay

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte is the number one selling Champagne in France and the third biggest-selling Champagne brand in the world. Nicolas Feuillatte, the man behind the brand, was a visionary and entrepreneur who created a brand synonymous with luxury and opulence and his Champagne has graced the lips of all the who’s who in society. It’s a Champagne that marks the occasion and makes the occasion.

Their Réserve Exclusive Rosé is delicately nuanced and literally bursting with red summer fruit flavours, making it an exceptional choice for your Valentine’s Day drink.

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Rosé Brut NV is attractively packaged in a floral Sakura robe embodying the delicate beauty of Japanese cherry blossoms in Spring.

Tasting notes: A gorgeous pomegranate pink, a delicious cavalcade of cherry, redcurrant and raspberry notes combine with a hint of fresh strawberries. It is fresh and vibrant with a touch of floral enchantment. Best served well chilled.

Food pairing suggestions: Salmon or salmon trout, tuna tartare, charred squid, pork loin, beetroot risotto, raspberry pannacotta for dessert.

Recommended retail price: R780 incl. VAT /

Quest Brut Rosé Cap Classique

Chardonnay & Cinsault

Quest Wines understands that the quality of wine is determined by the quality of the soil. That’s why every new vintage starts with a journey to find the different components that make up the perfect blend. This pursuit of excellence began in 2011 when Quest aspired to showcase a range of iconic French blends, styles and varieties grown and expressed through South African soils.

The Quest Brut Rosé Cap Classique is an incredibly unique South African MCC. Instead of Pinot Noir, Cinsault is used as the cultivar responsible for the rose colour making this a delicious blend of Chardonnay and Cinsault.

Tasting notes: Pale pink in colour with delicate bubbles rushing forward, the Quest Brut Rose displays delicate aromas of freshly cut strawberries, raspberries and red fruit on the nose. The palate is filled with white peach, mushroom and biscuit flavours.

Food pairing suggestions: Matured brie cheese, fresh melon wrapped in thin layers of prosciutto, West Coast mussels, Red Thai Curry. Why not try this Pistachio, Cranberry & Honey Nougat as a sweet treat to end off a meal, or as a homemade Valentine’s gift made with love. Your significant other will appreciate the effort! 

Recommended retail price: R195 per 750ml

Canto Chardonnay Brut Cap Classique

100% Chardonnay

Canto wines is a boutique winery situated in the rolling hills of Durbanville, where boutique wines and MCCs are produced.  This 100% Chardonnay MCC is made in the traditional French Method Champenoise. It was whole bunch pressed and spent two years on the lease. Riddled and degorged, the dosage is a beautiful buttery Chardonnay.

Tasting notes: A classic sparkling wine with extra fine bubbles, beautiful mousse and richness in texture. Wonderful earthy flavours come through on the nose and finishes with a slight butteriness.

Food pairing suggestions: This Chardonnay Brut MCC pairs well with rich, decadent nutty dishes, like these Chocolate and Hazelnut Peanut Butter Phyllo Cigars.

Retail price: R195

Weltevrede Philip Jonker Entheos Cap Classique

60% Chardonnay 40% Pinot Noir

A family run estate since 1912, Weltevrede wines have always been a pure expression of the terroir in which they are rooted. Winemaker Philip Jonker believes his wines should have personality dictated by the soil. Weltevrede wines have a strong sense of place and heritage, reflecting the five generations of Jonkers who have tasted the fruit of their vines.

The Philip Jonker Entheos is a vibrant blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The grapes for this blend are picked riper to show richness and the wine is matured on lees for up to three years. This is a vibrant Cap Classique perfect for everyday celebrations.

Tasting notes: Lively mousse, creamy biscuit on the palate and long aftertaste.

Food pairing suggestions: The Entheos pairs well with fresh seafood, such as sushi and oysters or light salads, like this Summery Shaved Lamb Salad.

Retail price: R170

Saltare Brut Reserve Cap Classique

55% Chardonnnay 45% Pinot Noir

Saltare is a boutique winery in Stellenbosch. Grapes are carefully selected from five different vineyards around the Western Cape and translated to the Saltare winery where winemaker, Carla Pauw, applies her art. The Brut Reserve is our more mature MCC with a minimum of 36 months on the lees, providing elegance, fuller flavours and a sumptuous mouthfeel. It is perfect for matching with a delicious meal.

Tasting notes: Almond and chamomile aromas, honey, oyster and yellow apple with a fine, delicate mousse and long, creamy finish.

Food pairing suggestions: Pairs well with robust flavours, such as a wild mushroom risotto or this Shallot Tarte Tatin

Retail price: R270

El Bandito I Wish I Was A Ninja Pèt Nat

100% Colombard

Pèt-nat or pèttilant naturel, roughly translates to ‘naturally sparkling’, is bottled during the first fermentation and the sugars from the grapes provide the bubbles. So, think of it as a natural, more ‘rough’ champange or MCC. El Bandito I Wish I Was A Ninja is a pet nat made from 100% Colombard grown in the Swartland region. This is a great place to start if you’re new to pèt-nat!

Tasting notes: It’s a perfect balance of acid, sugar and bubbles and it’s deliciously easy-drinking.

Food pairing suggestions: Pair with salty seafood dishes, like this Salt and Pepper Calamari

Retail price: R225

VINO PhD Bukettraube Pet Nat 2021

100% Bukketraube

This light bodied pet nat is a collaboration between VINO pH and Adi Badenhorst (hence pHd). The VINO pH ladies, Paulette and Hanneke, teamed up with Adi, who grew the grapes for this 100% Bukketraube pet nat. The result is a light, easy drinking wine with the perfect bubble and balance of sugar and acidity.

Tasting notes: A quiet aromatic expression of the floral grape variety with a gentle mousse that boosts a spicy flavour.

Food pairing suggestions: Pair with lightly spiced dishes, like these Spicy Korean Drumsticks

Retail price: R215

Astraeus Chardonnay Cap Classique

100% Chardonnay

The grapes for Waterkloof Wine’s Astraeus were sourced from an organically farmed vineyard in Elgin which is one of the few areas in the Western Cape where Chardonnay enjoys sufficiently cool conditions to produce good acids for a sparkling wine. The grapes are harvested by hand at a lower sugar level to keep the fresh acidity. From there, they are cooled down overnight and pressed in a basket press the following morning to ensure a soft extraction.

Tasting notes: The nose of this MCC Chardonnay is pleasant and inviting with biscuit notes and some ripe stone fruits. Complexity on the palate with green apple and biscuit.

Food pairing suggestions: Classic red fruit desserts, like these Raspberry Frangipane Tarts

Retail price: R240

Now that you’ve done your homework for bubbly for Valentine’s Day this year, brush up your knowledge even more and learn about the difference between MCC and Champagne.


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