Crush’s Top Bottles of Bubbly for Valentine’s 2020
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’s 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 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. The subtle red-fruit flavour and refreshing elegance of 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: The 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 pairings suggestions: Crayfish, seared salmon. Japanese cuisine or mild Asian cuisine. Fruit-based dessert: strawberry tart, panna cotta with raspberry coulis.
Recommended retail price: R1300 incl. VAT
Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Rosé Brut NV
45% Pinot Noir, 45% 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 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 satisfy 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, and then around the world.
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: Smoked salmon or salmon trout, tuna tartare, charred squid, pork loin, beetroot risotto, raspberry pannacotta for dessert.
Recommended retail price: R780 incl. VAT
Silverthorn The Genie
Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier
Richly entwined in Arabian folklore, Genies are best described as free-willed spirits formed from smokeless fire. Capable of using their power to create either magic or mischief, Genies were popularised in the Tales of One Thousand and One Nights.
Traditionally, Rosé Champagne is made from two red varieties, namely Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. With Silverthorn The Genie they broke the rules. Embracing the free-willed spirit of the Genie, we opted for something far more daring and exotic, and used Shiraz, an ancient grape variety, originating from Persia. The Silverthorn team are delighted to reveal that the results have been pure magic!
Tasting notes: On the nose: Exotic bouquet of Turkish delight and rose water. On the palate: Fresh raspberries and sherbet flavours supported by a velvety texture, fine mousse and lengthy finish.
Food pairing suggestions: Salmon gravadlax on crisp rye toast, Parma ham and red figs, or strawberries macerated with black pepper.
Recommended retail price: R260.00 per bottle
Windfall Wines The Mendola
Blanc de Blanc
The most recent Mendola vintage has made big impression on the wine community at large – it received 90 points from Tim Atkin in the 2019 South Africa Special Report. According to winemaker Kobus van der Merwe, these awards point to the fact that their team has spent a lot of time studying, researching, attending workshops and sitting in on seminars to get feedback from MCC experts. “Winemaking is by no means a one-man show,” says Kobus.
“The quality of this vintage pays testament to the many valuable contributes of colleagues, viticulturists and suppliers. It’s like one big orchestra. We look forward to refining our growth and harvesting methods in years to come to bring the public even more impressive wines.”
Tasting notes: Windfall Mendola Blanc de Blanc has delicate citrus characteristics with peach, guava and citrus blossoms being prevalent on the nose, which follow through onto the palate with beautiful nutty flavours.
Food pairing suggestions: The crisp and refreshing acidity make it a perfect accompaniment to many dishes.
Recommended retail price: R220
Graham Beck Bliss Nectar NV
Chardonnay 55% / Pinot Noir 45%
The Graham Beck Bliss Nectar NV is a fine excuse for self-indulgence and frivolity and is a great choice of bubbly for Valentine’s Day for those who like the sweeter side of life. This quintessential bubbly for those who relish the slightly sweeter side of life, the Bliss Nectar NV is both blissful in name and nature. This Cap Classique is an indulgent delight for the senses, guaranteed to entice and impress making it the perfect partner when celebrating what matters.
Over the years Graham Beck has established a reputation as one of South Africa’s leading Cap Classique producers, striving for consistency, quality and continuous innovation. At the custom-built Méthode Cap Classique cellar in Robertson, their team continues to pursue the perfect bubble. The captain at the helm of this extraordinary vessel of discovery is Cellarmaster Pieter ‘Bubbles’ Ferreira, assisted by winemaker Pierre de Klerk.
Their passion for the job at hand shines through in every bottle, every sip and each tiny bubble, as they work tirelessly to ensure that Graham Beck Cap Classiques remain synonymous with sophistication, flair and timeless appeal.
Tasting notes: With its fresh notes of ripe citrus and stone fruit flavours complemented by enchanting hints of butterscotch, honey and praline.
Food pairing suggestions: Enjoy with your favourite brunch or sweet treat.
Retail price: R165
Durbanville Hills Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc
100 % Sauvignon Blanc
Invigorating and refreshing, the burst of tiny bubbles awakens the palate and elevates both the greener and the riper tropical elements of the Sauvignon Blanc, resulting in a delightful bouquet of green pepper, kiwi fruit, fig and gooseberry.
Nine leading vineyard owners in the Durbanville district joined forces with Distell to create Durbanville Hills with the aim of promoting the regional individuality of this prime wine-growing area. The striking Durbanville Hills cellar sits on the side of a series of rolling hills with magnificent views of Table Mountain and Table Bay – the very geography that lies at the heart of what makes the wines so unique.
The Durbanville ward is considered one of the Cape’s coolest wine regions, thanks to the sea breezes that drift inland from False Bay and Table Bay and the late afternoon mists that bathe the slopes. These conditions are ideal for the slow ripening of the grapes, allowing them to develop their full-flavoured, intense character. Grapes are sourced only from the shareholder- growers, all of whom farm within the limited appellation of Durbanville.
Tasting notes: Green pepper, kiwi fruit, fig and gooseberry.
Food pairing suggestions: Enjoy on its own, slightly chilled or with fresh oysters, seafood, salads, smoked salmon, sushi and any raw fish dish.
Retail price: R95
Lautus De-Alcoholised Sparkling
100% Chardonnay (Less than 0.5% alcohol by volume)
Lautus De-Alcoholised Sparkling is crafted using cutting edge technology and techniques to stay on the forefront of the industry and to become the leading South African producer in the de-alcoholised category. As with all wine, the true heroes are the vineyards. By using selected sites that produce wines of high aromatic complexity and balance, Lautus has managed to produce a truly exceptional wine experience. It’s the perfect bubbly for Valentine’s if you want to have something special without the alcohol.
Careful winemaking practices were followed to retain aromatics. Crushed, lightly pressed and settled overnight. Fermentation was done with a selected yeast strain at 14-16oC. Left on lease for 3 months prior to racking to the second phase of production. *Due to the need to not have any alcohol, the wine is carbonated during bottling.
Great care is taken to remove the alcohol from the cool climate Chardonnay as gently as possible in order to retain all the beautiful flavours from fermentation. The alcohol is removed via spinning cone technology at low temperature under vacuum. The initial phase is to first remove the flavour, which is the set aside. The alcohol is then removed and once done, the flavour is added back to the de-alcoholised wine. There is a significant volume loss during the process; a portion of the alcohol-water is then put through the process again to extract the water, and added back. This helps to fill out the palate and balance the acidity. Normal winemaking practices are followed from this point onwards in preparation for bottling.
Tasting notes: Showcasing pure of white peach, citrus blossom and fresh apple. The added sparkle delivers fine lively bubbles, contributing to the elegant finish.
Food pairing suggestions: Enjoy at celebrations or with your favourite tapas dishes.
Retail price: R120
Niel Joubert Christine-Marié MCC
The Joubert family are by calling, horticulturalists and grape growers. They say that the best fertiliser for the vineyard is the grower’s footsteps and this is no more true than at Klein Simonsvlei. They are “hands-on” in the extreme with each stage carefully managed to produce the best fruit possible which results in high-quality wine production.
Christine-Marié MCC has honey nuances from spending 43 months on the lees before dégorgement. The wine is made from 100% Chardonnay; there’s stone fruit throughout, mainly white peach, with a hint of tropical fruit adding interest. With zinging fresh, it ends crisply dry but still packed with fruit.
Serve it as an aperitif with charcuterie, or as a celebration drink – it’s so delicious, that one can certainly drink more than a glass.
Tasting notes: stone fruit throughout, peach, with a hint of tropical fruit.
Food pairing suggestion: Grilled Tiger Prawns with Lemon butter sauce, Pan-fried free-range chicken supreme. Duo of Duck.
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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