There was, I think, some surprise when the Claudia Brut 2009 from Walker Bay winery Domaine des Dieux was judged best overall at the Amorim Cap Classique Challenge last year and so we opened bottle yesterday to investigate precisely what the panel (of whom I was a member) saw in it.
A blend of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir, it was kept on the lees for 48 months before disgorgement. It shows citrus as you’d expect but also a lot of strawberry given how small the Pinot component is. On the palate, meanwhile, it’s clean and pure with bright acidity and a fine mousse.
It’s not necessarily the richest, most complex bubbly out there but it’s precisely made and rightly or wrongly that counts for a lot in a technically demanding category. Approximate retail price: R175 a bottle.