The Boschendal Wine Estate was the second estate to make the Méthode Cap Classique style of wine in the Cape Winelands. This took place in the early 1980s, so they certainly have had a long run to fine tune and produce some truly great wines. The Boschendal Jean le Long Prestige Cuvée Brut Blanc de Blancs 2018, made by Lizelle Gerber, is the most perfect example of this Champagne style, ‘second fermentation in the bottle’ wine. Jean le Long was a pre Huguenot who was granted the land in 1685, 333 years ago.
The grapes for this wine are selected from high altitude cooler climate vineyards, which are carefully husbanded to produce the best quality Chardonnay grapes used in the making of this truly stunning wine. Hand harvested in the early part of the ideal ripeness window to ensure low residual sugar in the base wine, the grapes are brought to the cellar where they are whole bunch pressed each lot being separately vinified. Only the first 500 litres per ton is used. Once fermented, the wine was left on its primary lees until ready for blending. The finest components were then blended, stabilised and filtered.
The base wine for the Boschendal Jean le Long Prestige Cuvée Brut Blanc de Blancs 2018 is then bottled, inoculated with a ‘liqueur de tirage’, yeast and sugar, and them the second fermentation takes place in the bottle creating the wonderful tiny bubbles. 5 years is then spent maturing on the lees before the wine is degorged, closed with the traditional natural cork and then the little wire muzzle to keep the cork in place. The pressure from inside is equal to the tyre of a bus. One year resting on the cork takes place before the wine finds its way to the market.
From a traditional Champagne bottle. Elegantly packaged with beautiful label and gold foil on the neck. In the glass, it is a beguiling pale golden straw with the bubbles rushing to the top and forming a crown around the edges. The aromas run into the palate flavours and the first whiffs are of lemon posset, baked almond brioche and the oil from the skin of a pink grapefruit. The palate billows out in the middle with a generosity of creamy lemon, windfall orange and limes. There is an undertow of toasted almond marzipan and a subtle mineral tone in the long and gently waning and very ‘more please’ aftertaste.
Perfect as a mid-morning refresher or at sundowner time. Don’t wait for a celebration, just drink it when the urge comes over you. As a food match, one always thinks of the expensive stuff like oysters, seafoods. However, with some thinly sliced Jamon Iberico or a slice of Dalewood Fromage Huguenot 6 month matured, it performs beautifully. With mangoes about to appear on our shelves, Sophia Lindop’s Mango, fennel & braaied lobster salad would be a great first course for a dinner during which you will only drink the Boschendal Jean le Long Prestige Cuvée Brut Blanc de Blancs 2018.
Sophia Lindop’s Mango, fennel & braaied lobster salad
4 large lobster tails (in the shells)
50 g butter, melted
juice of half a lemon
2 ripe mangoes, peeled and cut into thin slices
1 fennel bulb, shaved
125 ml mayonnaise
Make a cut in the bottom side of the shell of the lobster tails using a serrated knife. Braai the tails on a medium to hot fire, turning regularly and basting the opened side with the butter. As soon as the flesh turns opaque, the tails are ready. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
To assemble the salad, break the lobster tails open and remove the entrails. Keep the tails whole and intact. Serve a tail per person, with mango slices, shaved fennel and 2 tablespoonfuls of mayonnaise. If desired, more mayonnaise can be used. Top with pomegranate arils and some fennel leaves.
Serve at room temperature as a refreshing starter.
Sophia’s note: Lobster doesn’t take long to cook. When removed from the heat as soon as it is done, lobster meat is a real treat…however, when overcooked, it can be rubbery and less pleasant.
The Boschendal Jean le Long Prestige Cuvée Brut Blanc de Blancs 2018 has had many accolades and awards justifiably heaped upon it this year.
The Tim Atkins South African Wine Report, 94 points
Amorim MCC Awards, Silver
Decanter World Wine Awards, Silver
International Wine Challenge, 91 points, Silver
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