Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Le Lude Cap Classique launch at Tim Martin's Cellar

Tasting the stars with Le Lude
Six and a half years ago Nic Barrow, a former Attorney, and his wife Ferda, a High school teacher, cook and gardener bought this Franschhoek wine farm. It has taken a long time to get to this day, the launch of their Cap Classique MCC
It was held at Tim Martin's cellar in Salt River
Tim Martin has his own winery, brewery and venue here
Welcome glasses of the MCC, coffee and good canapés were served
Good croissants, necessary as this tasting started at 9.30 am
Traditional Portuguese pastries De Nata (custard tarts) were perfect with freshly brewed coffee
Media chatting to Nic Barrow
The Le Lude Rosé and Brut in their unique bottles
The tasting began with some history and some news of the future from Nic. Chef Westley Muller will be opening a French restaurant on the farm in November, to be called the Orangerie. Nicolene Barrow, their daughter, a chef who has worked for Michel Roux at Le Gavroche in London will also work there
We began by tasting the three base wines of the 2015 Rosé, The 2015 Prestige and the 2012 Reserve, which spent 2 years in barrel and is now in magnums. All show clearly what the final MCC wines will become. The wines were tasted in Riedel sauvignon blanc glasses. Similar glasses were used by the Champagne producers when we visited Vinexpo in Bordeaux in 2013. They suit MCCs and Champagnes better than the flutes we have all become accustomed to using
Winemaker Paul Gerber. His assistant is Lisa Kruger. They buy in the grapes from Plettenberg and Robertson. They have planted a vineyard in snowy Sutherland where the challenge is frost, so they have a sprinkler system to prevent the vines freezing solid, as they do in the Marne region in France. And they buy in Pinot Noir from the best producer in the country. They use gyro pallets in the cellar to rotate the bottles
Time to taste the Brut NV. It has had 36 months on the lees and was bready, yeasty with a fine crisp mousse. It is a 60% Chardonnay/40% Pinot Noir blend, with flavours of strawberries, apples and pears. And then the NV Rosé. Also 36 months on the lees. Pink fruit nose, leesy, strawberries, vanilla, with a soft mousse, it is very dry with hints of wood on the end. It was made using carbonic maceration
We then tasted three blind and they turned out to be L to R Le Mesnil Blanc de Blanc Champagne from the Marne region, a style that they like. The Le Lude Prestige Cuvée 2012, bottled with a crown cap, which we liked the most as it has good long apple and citrus flavours and the Le Lude Prestige Cuvée bottled under cork. The pinot noir red fruit shows more in this version. These are both 70% Chardonnay 30% Pinot Noir
The bottles of the new Brut, Rosé and Le Mesnil
Anne Ferreira, who handles their PR, with assistant winemaker Lisa Kruger
On ice for lunch
Trays of Canapés
Oysters with red wine
Rice paper wraps
Thai shredded chicken in lettuce wraps
Jeanri-tine van Zyl
Good crisp fish cakes
The cork clip
Chef Westley Muller
The Barrow family
The Le Lude team
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015

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