Krone, home to vintage-only, handcrafted Méthode Cap Classique, on the historic Twee Jonge Gezellen estate in Tulbagh, have released South Africa’s first terroir specific MCC: the Krone Kaaimansgat Blanc de Blancs 2016. A perfect fingerprint of the vintage and harnessing the intrinsic energy of the iconic Kaaimansgat (Crocodile’s Lair) Chardonnay vineyard near Villiersdorp, this single-vineyard terroir-specific vintage cuvée is rooted in time and place.
“The making of vintage-only Krone MCC is directed by nature: from soil to vine to bottle. We bottle the spirit of the vines, the character of the vintage. Our winemaking team channels the rain, the sun and the wind into structure, complexity and balance—and seals it all with a cork. Each vintage tells its own story, celebrating a unique moment in time and place,” comments Rudiger Gretschel, Krone’s cellarmaster.
Highly acclaimed viticulturist, Rosa Kruger, who has spent over two decades locating and nurturing some of the country’s most remarkable vineyards, and is now the driving force behind The Old Vines Project, shares her insight into the famed Kaaimansgat vineyard: “Kaaimansgat is a unique high-altitude site, a site of extremes. The old vines, unirrigated, are planted on the steep foothills of the mountains. In winter the mountains encircling the vineyards are covered in snow, in summer the day temperatures are warm and sunny, the nights cool to cold: ideal conditions for later ripening of the grapes, producing wines with a strong acidity at full ripeness and low pH, prerequisites for making superlative MCC. We have had small crops of beautifully healthy Chardonnay grapes from these 31-year-old vines over the last three years for the Krone Blanc de Blancs MCC.”
In the cellar
This terror-driven Blanc de Blancs is made in a natural style in small batches. On arrival at the cellar, the grapes were immediately whole-bunch pressed to preserve the aromatics as well as the clarity of the juice. Only the free-run juice, the first 500 litres per ton, was used for this MCC. The fruit was fermented with natural, wild yeasts in large 2,500 litre foudres, upright wooden vats. It was then bottle-fermented and aged for three years on the lees in the underground cellar, balancing acidity, fruit and freshness. With over 300 years of history, Twee Jonge Gezellen has the honour of being home to the first underground cellar in Africa.
From a traditional Champagne shaped bottle, in black. Closed with natural cork and a wire muzzle. Elegant packaging all in black in its own box. In the glass. the wine is a pale gold with a constant stream of the tiniest bubbles rushing to form a crown [Krone] around the edges. The aromas coming off are pure and fine fruit. Windfall soft citrus, a Melissa herbaceousness, and fresh sliced tart apple. From entry the bubbles enliven the palate, a golden thread of acidity runs through to the long and gently waning aftertaste. River stone flavours – come on, of course you sucked river stones as a child. There is the inevitable fresh baked almond biscuit yeastiness. Beautiful balance. You are in the presence of MCC royalty here. And a wine, which though eminently drinkable now, with a couple of years of cool cellaring, will reward you well.
Suggested food pairings
The pure nature of this MCC calls for authentic food of the highest simplicity. Shellfish roasted over wingerdstok, cracked open and served with farm-egg mayonnaise; baked oysters dressed with burnt butter; primal flavours and cooking techniques, such as whole trout grilled on a cedar-plank; refined yet down to earth, pork cheeks with caramelised apples; grass-fed T-bone accompanied by foraged mushrooms; Dalewood Huguenot soufflé; whole cauliflower roasted in terracotta; MCC poached pears with clotted cream.
At R500.00 a bottle, the wine is available in selected restaurants and specialist bottle shops.
Read more about Krone MCC – Click here
Based on information from Hazell PR