Thursday, October 10, 2019

A visit to Le Lude MCC in Franschhoek

Sometimes you make a mistake that turns out to be a success. Lynne got a date wrong and we arrived in Franschhoek in the wrong week. It was a beautiful Spring day. For once we did not have a deadline or an appointment time and we found being able to go where and when we like quite liberating! So not only did she owe John lunch, we decided to go and visit a wine farm we have not been to for rather a long time, La Lude, to taste some of their MCC.
It is one of the most elegant wine farms, both the decor and gardens are impeccable and very much in the French style. Owned by Nick and Freda Barrow. Their daughters are both in the business; Olga is an Interior Decorator and Nicoline is the Executive Chef in the Orangerie restaurant (we hear the food is very good) where you can sit outside on the sunny terrace ...
... or inside in the cool room full of arches and greenery
We went to the tasting room
where you can look through to the small tank cellar, the barrel cellar is below
We had met the winemaker, Emma Bruwer, who has taken over from Paul Gerber,
as we drove through the vineyard and she said that she would join us
You can see how much stock they have by the huge stacking of MCC bottles, seen through a window in the tasting room floor
They grow the Champagne varietals Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier
The first harvest took place in 2012, with the maiden Brut and Rosé released in September 2015
And, in a cabinet, a selection of different glasses used for Champagne
The tasting menu. If you wish, they have paired the bubblies with different canapés or you can have a cheese platter
We had a lovely chat with Emma about her travels, stages in the USA and New Zealand and experiences before she took over the reins from Paul; she had been his assistant first. We tasted the non vintage Le Lude Brut which is a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. Bready on the nose with some perfume and a hint of pear; on the palate a lovely crisp prickle on this rich and complex MCC, which has a hint of age which we love, with flavours of pear and zingy lemon. The Rosé MCC was very special indeed (and vies with our favourite local Rosé MCC for 1st place). 60% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Meunier. It has a lovely soft perfume of roses and raspberries, perfection on the palate with soft rose, raspberries, and blueberries and a small hint of salt on the end. Seductive and delicious
Before we left, we had a short tour of the cellar below
A stunning wall of several vintages of bubbles to come!
With some magnums of older vintages
It seems they may soon have to expand. It was a great visit
All content ©  John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus

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