If you believe in indy rock ‘n roll, then last year’s Wine magazine Cap Classique Challenge results must have really sucked: best Non-Vintage to evil empire Distell (Pongrácz), best Rosé to evil empire Distell (Pongrácz), best Vintage to wanna-be evil empire The Comapny of Wine People (Kumkani Infiniti Brut 2004). That the title of best Blanc de Blancs and best overall went to family-owned but relatively unfashionable Robertson property Bon Courage for the Jacques Bruére Blanc de Blancs 2007, would’ve been but cold comfort.
2010 was supposed to be the dream-team panel. Sponsor Portuguese cork company Amorim and the somewhat precious Cap Classique Association engineered that there were not one but two French judges: Hervé Dantan, cellar master of Champagne Mailly Grand Cru and Nicolas Follet, Champagne winemaker and consultant. Numbers were made up by Sarah Newton, CWM with a special interest in bubbly, James Pietersen, regular taster for Platter’s and Wine magazine and yours truly (chair).
Out with the new guard and in with the old: this year’s panel is Allan Mullins, CWM (chair), Christine Rudman, CWM, Neil Pendock (Sunday Times wine writer), Miguel Chan (group sommelier for Southern Sun hotels) and Heidi Duminy CWM.
Be on your mettle, my friends, because I just partook of a bottle of J.C. Le Roux Pinot Noir Rosé MCC 2006, winner of the Cap Classique Challenge in 2008 and it might have come from the evil empire but it was delicate and elegant and as good as SA bubbly gets. And my mother-in-law agrees with me. Which is rare.