Most times when I talk about a fine MCC, I try to encourage people to drink it as one would a still wine. Don’t wait for a special occasion, it works as well with a Wednesday Supper dish as it does at your babies Christening. But with the change of the year upon us, there will be cause for celebration. Whether it is the happiness that the old year is over, or the hope of better things to come in the new year, a glass of De Wetshof Methode Cap Classique Brut 2009 will certainly lift the spirits.
De Wetshof is a third-generation family wine estate in the Robertson Wine Appellation where Danie de Wet, proprietor and Cellarmaster, is assisted by sons and co-owners Johann in charge of viticulture and marketing and Peter, the Estates third generation winemaker. Peter followed in the footsteps of his father, Danie, and studied Viticulture and Oenology at the famous Geisenheim Institute in Germany. Before returning to De Wetshof, he travelled to the Champagne region in France, working in various wineries and making a study of the magical blend of science, skill and creativity required to produce premier sparkling wines. He is currently winemaker on De Wetshof where he produced the Estate’s first Méthode Cap Classique wine.
The De Wets are Chardonnay specialists, producing a variety of fine Chardonnay from those like the Limestone Hill which is unoaked to the serious Bateleur, which has the most beautifully applied oak using French oak Barrels from the Coopers Radoux whose owner personally selects barrels for use on De Wetshof.
The grapes for the De Wetshof Methode Cap Classique Brut 2009 are hand harvested off ten-year-old wines on the estate using 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir, the classical grapes of Champagne. The grapes are whole bunch pressed and the resulting juice is cool settled. The clear juice is fermented in stainless steel tanks and then taken to French oak barrels with the fine lees for 12 months. The base wine is then fermented in the bottle in the classical style of Champagne. The bottles are then degorged and prepared for application of the natural cork and the muzzle.
From a classical Champagne shaped bottle, closed with natural cork and a wire muzzle to keep it in place. The label is typical streamlined and elegant De Wetshof. In the glass, the wine is a pale golden straw with a mass of the tiniest bubbles rushing helter skelter to the top of the glass, where they form a crown round the edges. The aromas are of orange peel fresh baked brioche. There are some excellent mineral, flinty tastes in amongst the bubble tingly palate which ends long, refreshing and satisfying. This is a truly great glass.
A fine wine like the De Wetshof Methode Cap Classique Brut 2009 is perfect on its own mid-morning, as an aperitif to a meal or as a glass at sundown when things quieten down after a busy day. There are always thoughts of Oysters, Smoked Salmon, Caviar which come to mind with a fine wine like this. My Smoked Salmon Trout Parcels is a perfect dish to serve with the De Wetshof Methode Cap Classique Brut 2009. I made this dish when I used to cook on morning TV, so took the photo on the counter at the time.
Michael’s Smoked Salmon Trout Parcels
What you’ll need
200 g smoked salmon trout strips
300 g smooth cream cheese, you can get one with salmon flavouring
½ tsp capers
1 Tbs lime juice
grated rind of half a lime – very fine
1 tsp fresh dill – finely chopped or 1 tsp chives
1 tsp parsley – finely chopped
Tabasco sauce to taste
What you’ll do
You can make these in normal size muffin tins.
Lay out four strips of smoked salmon trout and trim the edges. Trimming can be added to the filling.
Beat the cheese until soft and add the remaining ingredients.
Carefully place a portion of the filling on the trout and wrap it up into a parcel.
You will want to refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
Place on a large leaf on a plate and garnish with lime slices and slices of jumbo size green olives.
Read more about De Wetshof Wine Estate – CLICK HERE