Haute Cabrière & Pierre Jourdan – the finest of bubbles…

pierre jourdanHaute Cabrière, the Home of Pierre Jourdan

Haute Cabrière, the Home of Pierre Jourdan, is an Estate you need to have on your visitor’s list if you have not been there. This well-known Estate established by the von Arnim family in the early 1980s grows Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the noble grapes of Champagne and Burgundy. Achim von Arnim was an early pioneer of Cap Classique, the South African Champagne style wine which undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle.  Takuan von Arnim now heads up the Cellar Team and year on year, as the vines age, and he builds on his extensive knowledge of both viticulture and oenology the quality of the wines goes up exponentially.

Takuan demonstrating sabrage, removing the top of the bottle with a sabre

The Estate has some interesting Cap Classiques under the Pierre Jourdan label, four different styles and a Ratafia, a delicious fortified Chardonnay. Ratafia was a wine drunk when a treaty was ratified – but today, this sublime sweet wine finds it place with a slice of cake in the afternoon, a smooth paté at the beginning of a meal and as a digestif at the end of a meal. Do serve it chilled and in a small glass – rather refill than let the wine get warm in your glass.

Pierre Jourdan Tranquille, classique still wine

The Pierre Jourdan Tranquille is a classical still wine made from the same grapes as the Cap Classiques and found in many of the great Champagne Houses in France. This wine is even handedly priced and a perfect introduction to the  Estate’s Wines

A bath full of bubbly

The first of the Cap Classiques produced on the Estate was the Pierre Jourdan Brut. This elegant blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is intense and rich. It comes in two sizes, the traditional 750ml size and also in a 375ml version, so ideal for one person as a mid-morning refresher. The elegance of the Chardonnay is matched by the intensity and richness of the Pinot Noir component. And of course, the second fermentation in the bottle allows for the tiniest of bubbles or mousse. This runs through all of the Pierre Jourdan Cap Classiques.

Pierre Jourdan Belle Rose

It was inevitable that a pink Cap Classique would follow and so the Pierre Jourdan Belle Rose was launch. Say Rose, not Rosay. The wine has a shy blush, like that of a beautiful rose after which it is named, which occurs as a result of carbonic maceration of the berries. Where whole berries ferment internally and give off their colour. There are the traditional cherry berry flavours and low tannins of the Pinot Noir, though the wine is deliciously dry and refreshing. Distinguished. The Pierre Jourdan Brut Reserve 2011 is available from the cellar and the Estate’s Online Shop. It celebrates Achim von Arnim’s last vintage. Signed by Achim his classical blend of Chardonnay and Pinot noir has been maturing in the bottle for many years to create a rich and creamy mouthfeel while the mousse continues fine and consistent. The Pierre Jourdan Blanc de Blanc [white of whites] spends time in Argonne Oak and on the lees before the second fermentation. In colour, it is a pale golden straw with green flashes. On the palate, very creamy counterbalanced by the finest mousse and crispness.

The Haute Cabrière Estate has a range of superb Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines of which I will write soon again.

Fun in Franschhoek

The Haute Cabrière Tasting and Sales Facility is open every day, for opening times check the website.

Chefs Nic van Wyk and Westley Muller, nothing like a bit of bubbly after a meeting

One of the special places to visit while you are on the Estate is the Haute Cabrière Restaurant, where the true marriage of wine and food happens. Chefs Nic van Wyk and Westley Muller are producing excellent quality dishes to match the fine wines of the Estate. Do reserve in advance, this is one of the winelands’ finest eating places.

An utterly delicious piece of fillet with figs & broccoli

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