The Asara Wine Estate & Luxury Hotel is situated in the heart of the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation in the rolling Polkadraai Hills. These rolling hills offer many aspects, differing soils and microclimatic conditions. The grapes for the Asara MCC Brut 2016 come from 16-year-old vineyards, planted in decomposed granite soils. The warmer temperatures here stimulate deep root growth which adds to the flavours in the wine. Made in the traditional Champagne metho, with the second fermentation in the bottle creating the finest of bubbles, also known as the mousse.
The Chardonnay grapes for the Asara MCC Brut 2016 were harvested at three different stages in the ideal ripeness window at pip and skin ripeness, to ensure a breadth of flavours in the final wine. The grapes are picked into small lug boxes to protect the integrity of the berries. Once in the cellar, they are cooled overnight. The bunches are then sorted and gently whole bunch pressed with the finest juice fraction being used to ferment as the base wine. The wine is then cool settled and bottled for the second fermentation with a shot of sugar and yeast. Once fermentation is complete the wine lies on its lees for a year. This adds wonderful flavours and complexity to the wine. It is then degorged and prepared for corking and labelling.
From a classical Champagne shaped bottle closed with natural cork, a wire muzzle and gold foiling. The label is simple classical Asara. What I like most about the Asara Brut is its delicacy. In the glass, it is a pale golden straw in colour, with the tiniest of bubbles rushing to form a crown round the upper edges of the flute. The aromas are of fresh sliced Granny Smith Apples, orange preserve and marzipan. The bubbles bring the palate to life, the sweet tropical limes and windfall oranges add to the experience and there is an undertow of fresh baked brioche. A crisp and fresh glass.
This is the perfect mid-morning refresher on a hot day sitting under a pergola. I always encourage people to drink a fine bubbly at any time not only for celebrations. It is as delicious after a hard day, with a plate of well-cooked midweek supper, as it is with the traditional bubbly accompaniments. Christine Capendale’s Goats Cheese Cigars are the perfect pre-prandial snack to enjoy with a glass of the Asara MCC Brut 2016. Click HERE for her recipe.
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