The new “prestige cuvée” called Lady R 2010 from Steenberg from Constantia costs R395 a bottle, making it more expensive than most MCC but cheaper than Champagne – a bottle of Veuve Clicquot from retailer Makro is R449.95 while Louis Roederer Brut from Reciprocal will set you back R795 and Pol Roger Pure Brut Réserve from Great Domaines R835.
So how does Lady R stack up? It’s a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% barrel fermented Chardonnay, the wine spending 54 months on the lees. It comes across as carefully crafted – peach, apple, strawberry plus some attractive yeasty character, nothing too overt, all very subtle and understated. The acidity is fresh but not tart, the mousse very fine and persistent and the finish gently savoury. It comes across as pure and precise and will serve you well this festive season if you want something a bit more special than big-brand Cap Classique but can’t quite justify shelling out for Champers.