A magnum of Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel 2005 at the weekend proved outstanding, as good as local bottle-fermented sparkling wine gets – attractive yeasty, leesy aromas and flavours to with good fruit expression, a fine mousse and bright acidity. Really showing well after some time in bottle.
Even so, I felt it was still just short of being a 5-Star wine, lacking the complexity and finesse you’d get from top Champagne. Of course, it could be argued that comparing local bubbly with Champagne is not that helpful as growing conditions are so different but the fact is the French stuff is widely considered the benchmark by the punter and if Cap Classique is to set to be truly competitive in an international context, then no point talking it up unduly.
That said, where Cap Classique totally trumps Champagne is when it comes to value for money. Had you bought a magmum of Kaapse Vonkel 2005 when this wine won the Amorim Cork Cap Classique Challenge in 2009, it would have cost you R170 a bottle. A magnum of Moët & Chandon Non-vintage, for instance, is R1 160 a bottle from Johannesburg retailer Norman Goodfellows.