The rivalry that has sprung up between producer-wholesalers Distell and KWV in recent times has been fascinating to observe and in most cases the two run each other close. However, the latest batch of Méthode Cap Classique from KWV-owned Laborie are some distance off the best Distell is doing under the JC Le Roux and Pongrácz labels.
Laborie Brut 2009: 15/20
85% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir. 24 months on the lees. Vague biscuit-like note on the nose and palate but otherwise rather neutral – not much fruit to speak of. Fairly big, coarse bubble, soft acidity. Inoffensive at best.
Laborie Blanc de Blancs 2008: 15.5/20
100% Chardonnay. 36 months on the lees. Citrus and some savoury aldehydic character on the nose and palate. Relatively fine, vigorous mousse and bright acidity.
Laborie Brut Rosé 2008: 15/20
100% Pinot Noir. 24 months on lees. Very pretty light pink in colour. Overt strawberry and slight touch of earthiness on the nose. Sweet ‘n sour on the palate, soft mousse. Not unappealing but no great complexity.