Crush’s Top Bottles of Bubbly for Valentine’s 2019
Whether you subscribe to the Valentine tradition or not, the fact is that the day of hearts and red roses is not going anywhere. In fact, it encouragingly seems to be evolving into a day that celebrates love in general, and really what’s the harm in that? There is always space in the world for love.
Bubbly has also become synonymous with Valentine’s Day, and we wholeheartedly champion any day that gives us a reason to pop the cork!
Whether you choose to celebrate romance with your loved one, spend the day with your family, or simply gathering your friends to drink bubbles and indulge in something yummy, there’ll be a bubbly to match the occasion. These are our top bottles of bubbly for Valentine’s Day.
Our Top Bottles of Bubbly for Valentine’s Day
Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Rosé Brut NV
45% Pinot Noir, 45% Pinot Meunier, 10% Chardonnay
Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne 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 Paris-born New York entrepreneur, international jet-setter and socialite with friends in high places the world over. He made his first fortune as a coffee merchant in New York and went on to make his second by creating his own brand of Champagne in 1976.
Often found in the company of the who’s who of society, he decided that the Nicolas Feuillatte brand must in the first instance be able to impress the most discerning of palates, in order to also satisfy a wider audience.
The Champagne he created was elegant and sophisticated and an immediate hit with an exceptional group of A-listers, amongst them Jackie Kennedy-Onassis and Lauren Bacall.
With his celebrity connections, Feuillatte’s Champagne quickly became popular in the US, to the extent that supply was soon unable to match demand.
Tasting notes: This Rosé Champagne is salmon-pink in colour with a fine ribbon of delicate bubbles. The nose is distinctly fruity: fresh strawberry and red cherry with floral nuances. The palate offers red berry flavour in abundance with a zesty finish which adds freshness.
Food pairing suggestions: Smoked salmon or rainbow trout, tuna tartare, charred squid, pork loin, beetroot risotto, raspberry pannacotta for dessert.
As an aperitif, best served well-chilled at 7-8 °C.
With food, best served well-chilled at 10-12 °C.
Approximate Retail Price: R745 incl. VAT
Da Luca Sparkling Rosé
50 % Merlot, 50% Raboso
Celebrating great Sicilian winemaking, this exquisite sparkling Rosé is a blend of Merlot and Raboso from small growers in the Veneto region in Northern Italy with a fruity bouquet and vibrant notes of raspberry and strawberry.
As the sparkling wine market continues to attract more drinkers around the globe and with the growing popularity of beverages like Prosecco, every day is a special occasion.
Readily showing up with a bottle of bubbles is now much easier and nothing elevates an occasion like bubbly.
Da Luca is best served chilled at 8-12 degrees Celsius and can be enjoyed on its own, in cocktails, as a refreshing aperitif or with meals.
Tasting notes: A light, fresh sparkling rose with delicate red fruit and floral flavours delivering a smooth and mouthwatering finish.
Food pairing suggestions: Pairs beautifully with a creamy brie on a warm summer’s day, seared and smoked salmon, prosciutto and fruity desserts.
Retail Price: R89
60% Pinot Noir, 40 % Chardonnay
The Pongrácz Méthode Cap Classique ranges are an ode to the life’s work of Desiderius Pongrácz, a nobleman and refugee from the Hungarian uprising who revitalised viticulture in the Cape. Pongrácz lobbied for the introduction of grape varietals such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and the subsequent propagation of quality vineyards in the Western Cape. He went on to author numerous scientific publications and books that are still consulted today.
The passion, drive and innovation that Desiderius Pongrácz encompassed are reflected in the Pongrácz Méthode Cap Classiques that are produced in the same classic French tradition of secondary bottle fermentation.
The grapes are hand-selected from vineyards cooled by maritime breezes and selected for their overall quality and depth of flavour. The Pinot Noir vines grow in deep red soil at an altitude of 320m above sea level, whilst the Chardonnay comes from vineyards at 100m to 200m above sea level.
Tasting notes: Crisp green apple notes and nuttiness of freshly baked bread fill the nose. Delicate yeasty tones, layered with toast and ripe fruit enlivened by a firm mousse and yeastiness, lead to a wonderful foamy mouthful of blackberry fruit and a lingering finish.
Food pairings suggestions: Sashimi; oysters; smoked chicken and avocado salad served on butter lettuce with a honey and mustard dressing; raw marinated fresh fish topped with caper, coriander and ginger pesto, garnished with a fresh herb variety, flavoured with oyster sauce; salmon bruschetta.
Approximate retail price: R140 (Available – Nationwide)
Altydgedacht Blanc de Blanc MCC
Altydgedacht is a 260-hectare estate that has been in the Parker family since 1852, a legacy spanning six generations. A young George Francis Parker and his family were on their way to Australia in 1819 and stopped in Cape Town to resupply. The Family continued their journey, George remained in Cape Town to work for a merchant. He later acquired the Altydgedacht farm and laid the strong foundations which it sits today.
The Parker family has continued to maintain and develop the farm over the last 160 years and George’s great, great grandsons, John and Oliver continue to uphold the unbroken family tradition.
The Altydgedacht team utilize the Durbanville microclimate to its fullest to produce wines with distinctive varietal expression. The grapes are grown in dryland vineyards are hand-picked during the cool morning hours to produce a low alcohol base wine with sufficient acidity.
Tasting notes: Aromas of green apple combine with biscuity flavours from the lees maturation, to create a wine that is complex and refreshing.
Food pairing suggestions: Altydgedacht pairs beautifully with smoked salmon, fresh oysters, pork loin, selection of charcuterie and delicious creamy cheeses like brie.
Retail price: R195
Black Elephant Vintners Brut MCC
Chardonnay/ Pinot Noir
Black Elephant Vintners are doing wine differently. As their tagline suggests, they’re the “rebels of the vine” and sticking to a less conventional method to their madness. Based in the beautiful Franschhoek valley, Black Elephant Vintners is the love-child of three best friends – Kevin Swart, Raymond Ndlovu and Jacques Wentzel.
Black Elephant Vintners Brut MCC is comprised of a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend.
The grapes are harvested on the same day and chilled overnight in their cold room. All their grapes are handpicked in the early morning hours and handled reductively to preserve the integrity of the fruit.
Tasting notes: Light yeasty aromas and tones of citrus, fresh picked red apples with rich creamy complexity and cherries on the palate. The exceptionally fine mousse contributes freshness and finesse.
Food pairing suggestions: Macarons
Retail Price: R265
Villiera Monro Brut 2012
61% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, 9% Pinot Meunier
The 5-Star rated Villiera Monro Brut 2012 bears the Grier family name and is Villiera’s Prestige Cuvee. A classic, rich and complex Cap Classique that will delight your taste buds while its prize-winning quality will impress your guests.
The 2012 vintage achieved the Platter 2019 Méthode Cap Classique of the Year, a SAWi Platinum +95 rating and Monro Brut is also the only Cap Classique in Top Wine SA’s 2018 list of Top 10 wines.
Its international accolades include an International Wine & Spirits Competition Gold Outstanding Award and Trophy plus a 94-rating in Tim Atkins’ 2018 South African Special Report.
Villiera is a pioneering quality wine company committed to preserving the environment.
Tasting notes: Rich, creamy, yeasty nose, with a refreshing flavour on the middle palate developing finesse and complexity on the aftertaste.
Food pairing suggestions: The Monro Brut is a bubbly to be savoured with smoked salmon sushi, oysters, mushrooms or triple cream cheeses and nuts.
Approximate retail price: R230.00
Perdeberg Brut Reserve MCC Chenin Blanc 2012
100% Chenin Blanc
Located between Malmesbury and Durbanville, in the Agter Paarl area, the Perdeberg district encompasses five different microclimates that produce unique and varied wines. Perdeberg Winery, named for the Cape Mountain Zebra that were prolific in the area, have been pressing grapes since 1942.
The Vineyard Collection Chenin Blanc MCC is produced from a single cultivar to highlight the unique attributes and characteristics of the terroir.
Tasting notes: Green in colour. Notes of green pear, Granny Smith apples, lime and grapefruit are all evident on the nose. Fresh minerality on the palate with a biscuit finish.
Food pairing suggestions: Enjoy this bubbly with oysters or fresh seafood.
Retail Price: R120
De Grendel Brut
64% Chardonnay, 36% Pinot Noir
The De Grendel estate stretches out over 800 hectares over the Tygerberg Hill with incredible views of Table Mountain and Cape Town. De Grendel boasts a unique positioning in the Durbanville wine route on the opposite side of the hill to the rest of the wine farms.
De Grendel is home to 80 hectares of grape vines and produces some of the best Sauvignon Blanc in the country. The meticulous care of the vineyards allows the grapes to express the environment in which they are grown.
Careful harvesting and gentle handling in the cellar, combined with the winemaker’s passionate practice, carry the wines throughout the journey from fruit to wine.
Best enjoyed now, but if you choose to keep a few bottles, the acidity will lower after a few years giving way to a richer, creamier wine with notes of pear and increased yeasty aromas.
Tasting Notes: Pale lemon colour with an exceptionally fine mousse. It exudes freshness and pure fruit on the nose by showcasing vibrant notes of Granny Smith apple, white blossom, candied lemon rind and white peach. Creamy, biscuit notes give texture to the lively citrus and green apple. An elegant and refined MCC with a yeasty undercurrent on the palate.
Pairing Suggestions: This Méthode Cap Classique is the quintessential drink for all occasions and is the most versatile wine for food pairings. Enjoy it as an aperitif before dinner or with eggs Benedict and warm croissants for breakfast. It also marries well with scallop carpaccio, choux pastries, rich chicken liver pâté and fresh pan-seared fish with a beurre blanc sauce.
Retail price: R195.00 per bottle
Champagne Bollinger Rosé Brut NV
62% Pinot Noir, 24% Chardonnay, 14% Meunier
The Bollinger Champagne House has created prestigious champagnes with character, distinguished by their elegance and complexity, since 1829. 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.
Its subtle red-fruit flavour and refreshing elegance make Bollinger Rosé 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 between 10 and 12°C. Enjoy it now!
Tasting notes: A subtle combination of structure, length and vivacity, with a tannic finish due to the adjunction of red wine; bubbles as fine as velvet; flavours of wild berries.
Food pairings suggestions: Crayfish, lobster, seared salmon. Japanese cuisine or not-so-spicy Asian cuisine. Fruit-based dessert: strawberry tart, pannacotta with raspberry coulis.
Approximate retail price: R1230 incl. VAT
Love your bubbles? Learn about the difference between MCC and Champagne right here.
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