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Graham Beck gears up

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Chris du Toit, CEO of Graham Beck Enterprises, reports that the now-MCC-only company will be investing R150 million across all aspects of the business over the next five years and intends moving from an annual production of 110 000 cases to 250 000 cases.

A glass act.
A glass act.

Towards enhancing the tasting room experience, Graham Beck bubblies will no longer be served out of generic flutes but designer glasses, the Brut Vintage NV, for instance, set to be poured in a Riedel Overture (approximate retail price: R200 a glass) for instance, the Blanc de Blancs 2012 in a Riedel Veritas (R500 a glass) and the top-end Cuvée Clive 2009 in a Lehmann Jamesse Prestige (R450 a glass).

To demonstrate the effect of stemware on how different bubblies present themselves, cellarmaster Pieter Ferreira yesterday showed the three different bubblies, each poured first in a traditional flute and then in the specially selected designer glass.

As with all designer wine glasses, these deluxe bubbly glasses have particular bowl shapes and rim diameters which supposedly alter how you perceive aromatics and flavour. In the case of sparkling wine, the longer the bubble travels after nucleation, the more explosive it is on reaching your mouth and this was pretty much evident yesterday.

To end the presentation, Cuvée Clive 2009 side by side in the three designer glasses. Here, the Overture seemed to emphasise primary fruit and freshness while the Lehmann Jamesse Prestige the more evolved notes, the Veritas arguably providing the best of both worlds.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Do you think using a R500 Riedel glass will elevate a 90-point wine to become a 92-point or even 94-point wine (versus using a standard R30 glass)? Or will the wine scores stay the same, but using the fancy glass just offer a different perspective on the wine?

    • Hi Joe, I’m not sure using an expensive Riedel will significantly elevate a wine’s rating but I think the opposite probably does apply, i.e. taste out of a very ordinary glass and you will have a diminished experience.

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