‘Pleasure without Champagne (or Cap Classique) is purely artificial’

“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 am not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it — unless I’m thirsty.”

Lily Bollinger, former manager of the Bollinger Champagne House, was obviously a lady with great taste, but whether you call it Champagne or Cap Classique, “drinking the stars” is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

South Africa has a host of world-class bubbly producers, but here are a few sparkling wines to consider for the “seasons of the sun”.

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Brut Rosé   

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte is the number one selling Champagne in France and the third biggest-selling Champagne brand in the world. It is elegant and sophisticated.

Bursting with red summer fruits, this Rosé is made in a Brut style and is composed of 45% pinot noir for roundness and structure, 45% meunier for fruitiness and soft supple character, and 10% chardonnay for elegance and finesse. A gorgeous pomegranate pink, a delicious cavalcade of redcurrant and raspberry notes combine with a hint of strawberries. This creamy Champagne is fresh and vibrant with a touch of floral enchantment, perfect for lunches, picnics and delicious with Japanese cuisine.

Celebrate the “seasons of the sun” with this exquisite Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Brut Rosé with beautiful packaging inspired by the famous Sakura (cherry blossom) season in Japan, when life is renewed, flowers are in bud and the senses are awakened.

For further information, visit www.vinimark.co.za

Champagne Bollinger Rosé

Celebrate the many wonders of spring and summer with Champagne Bollinger Rosé, a highly polished, delicately fruited, perfectly balanced Rosé of great complexity and sophistication.

The Bollinger Rosé is a blend of 62% pinot noir, 24% chardonnay and 14% pinot meunier from 85% Grand or Premier Cru vineyards of exceptional quality.

Champagne Bollinger Rosé entices with a beautiful salmon pink colour, a velvet mousse and fresh, pure redcurrant, cherry and strawberry aromas, the palate is rich and refined, perfectly combining power with freshness, with a silky texture and juicy wild berry flavours, a touch of creaminess and a lasting fresh berry finish.

The absolutely fabulous Champagne Bollinger Rosé can be 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 crayfish, salmon, Japanese cuisine or not-so-spicy Asian cuisine and fruit-based desserts.

Champagne Bollinger Rosé, packaged in a gorgeous gift box, is available nationally for approximately R1400.

For additional information on Champagne Bollinger, please contact Ginette De Fleuriot at Vinimark on ginette@vinimark.co.za.

Krone Kaaimansgat Blanc de Blancs 2016

The Krone Kaaimansgat Blanc de Blancs 2016, a single-vineyard terroir-specific vintage cuvée, was inspired by the grower Champagne movement in France and is a terroir-driven Blanc de Blancs made in a natural style in small batches. Sculpted by the vintage, it expresses the distinctive character of the iconic 33-year-old high-altitude Kaaimansgat (Crocodile’s Lair) chardonnay vineyard near Villiersdorp. A site of extremes, the old vines, unirrigated, are located 700m above sea level on the steep foothills of the mountain, deep inside a blind valley in the cool-climate Elandskloof ward in the Overberg.

Yellow straw in colour with aromas of sour dough, biscotti and a hint of smoky toast. The palate is fresh, lively with a fresh apple and white pear note. Lively and youthful with a slight nutty note on the finish. Complex and rich with a lingering acidity on the aftertaste.

The pure nature of this MCC calls for authentic food of the highest simplicity. Shellfish roasted over coals, cracked open and served with farm-egg mayonnaise; baked oysters dressed with burnt butter; primal flavours and cooking techniques, such as whole trout grilled on a cedar-plank; refined yet down to earth, pork cheeks with caramelised apples; grass-fed T-bone accompanied by foraged mushrooms; Dalewood Huguenot soufflé; whole cauliflower roasted in terracotta; MCC poached pears with clotted cream.

Krone Kaaimansgat Blanc de Blancs 2016, distinctively packaged in a jet-black bottle with matching gift box, is available for purchase at the estate, online at https://www.kronecapclassique.co.za/products/kaaimansgat-blanc-de-blancs  and is widely available nationally at select liquor retailers and grocers.

The approximate retail price is R560 per bottle.

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