Wednesday, August 19, 2015

MCC tasting at JC Le Roux, Devon Valley, Stellenbosch

We must confess that it has been many years since we ventured down to the end of Devon Valley, to this winery which concentrates on making wines filled with bubbles. The bulk of their production is their carbonised range, most of which are sweet wines. We were there to taste the premium Méthode Cap Classique range. They have recently spruced up the premises and the tasting room is large and commodious, with private tasting rooms on the side. The gardens are lovely. We were invited to visit, have a tasting and sample some of their restaurant’s food, which we did on Tuesday
The impressive entrance
The main tasting area
All the bubblies on sale
On the reception counter; one of the pairings you can experience, with the cost
The restaurant is on the gallery above
The bottling line, where you can see the whole process taking place with a recorded commentary
and learn the history and process of making MCCs and other sparkling wines
The 5 Méthode Cap Classique wines for our tasting
They present various paired tastings, with different costs. One with nougats, one with biscuits, fudge and other sweetmeats and the one we had, with olives. We don't like sweet things with bubbly, so we preferred to do this savoury pairing and enjoyed it very much. They use Chrisna's olives
All tastings have a cost per person. Check out their website before you go (it is a rather frustrating site, demanding your birth date for every page you view)
JC le Roux MCC bubblies, from the left: the crisp and dry 2009 Pinot Noir, 60 months on the lees, R105. Paired with a green olive stuffed with a blanched almond. The Pinot Noir Brut Rosé, served with an olive stuffed with a feta and tomato paste. Full of strawberries and fresh, red fleshed plums. A good food wine, R135. In the middle the Brut NV; 75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay. Leesy and full of crisp fruit. Good value at R85 a bottle and their best seller. Paired with a deliciously plump, green salty olive on the stone. They substituted their top MCC, the Scintilla, for us to taste (usually it is La Vallée); 80% Chardonnay 20% Pinot Noir Vintage 2008 and R190 a bottle. Buttery brioche, tiny mousse, crisp limes and lemon chardonnay, with a buttery end. Lots of elegance. It is kept for a minimum of 5 years on the lees. Paired with a skewer of sun dried tomato, black olive and a herb feta. And finally the La Vallée Demi sec Rosé, R90. Paired with pimento stuffed green olives
Our very friendly and professional wine ambassador for the tasting was Jean Smuts, who gave us all the information we needed and charmed us
Time for lunch upstairs and a lovely view of the Stellenbosch mountains
We were given a starter of two prawns on a rather gritty salad with some pimento and spicy chorizo
Two choices for main course, so John chose the Sirloin steak and chips topped, the menu said, with Café de Paris sauce. Sadly, we think someone in the kitchen chose the wrong sauce as this was a spicy curry. The steak was good and the chips crisp. 
The dish was accompanied by sliced butternut, a piece of sweet potato, and some roasted beetroot. Lynne liked the beetroot. John had a glass of the Pinot Noir Brut
Lynne had the other dish on offer, grilled salmon steak with mango and very hot jalapeno peppers, which did rather fight with the delicate salmon. We’re also not sure if sweet mango goes with salmon; it was an odd accompaniment. She had a glass of the Brut Rosé. We finished with espresso coffees
Winter resting vines with their cover crop of barley and mustard and a view across the valley
The fruit trees in the valley have a frosting of blossom

We discovered that, although our next destination (Bottelary Road) was only 2 kilometres away on the map, the locals have closed off that end of the valley with a gate for security purposes. So we had to drive through Stellenbosch and do a 17 Km round trip
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© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015
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