To hear Irene de Fleuriot, Winemaker and GM of La Bri, talk about her Sauvage La Bri 2012 is an absolute treat. The stories of taken the bottles on a tractor trailer to neighbours for disgorgement and then bringing them back, adds a kind of Agatha Christie detective novel twist to the whole exercise. Only 748 bottles of this wine, her second vintage of La Bri’s Méthode Cap Classique, were produced.
As a Blanc de Blancs [white of whites] the grapes for the Sauvage La Bri 2012 were hand harvested from vines planted in 1991 on 8th February 2012. Once in the cellar the grapes were whole bunch pressed and the juice taken to 3 previous fill French oak barrels for fermentation. After two months the base wine was prepared for bottling, a shot of liqueur de tirage [sugar and yeast] was added to each bottle which was then closed with a crown cork and left to undergo its second fermentation which adds the wonderful fresh baked brioche flavours and the vibrant, tiny bubbles. After fermentation the wine is allowed to lie on its lees for 4 yours. The wine was then disgorged, and the cork and muzzle applied.
From a traditional Champagne bottle elegantly labelled. The flower, a traditional image on the La Bri Wines, is the Serruria Florida, one of the smaller Proteas, known in common parlance as The Blushing Bride, or Pride of Franschhoek. In the glass, the wine is a pale gold with an uprising of the tiniest bubbles which form a tiara like ring around the edges of the glass. The aromas are rich and complex. Heavenly citrus, green apples, fresh baked almond brioche all intermingle in the generous mid palate and the aftertaste is refreshing and uplifting.
While perfect for a celebration, I often ask my readers to think of treating a wine like the Sauvage La Bri 2012 as a wine for any time enjoyment. Mid morning refresher or the perfect sundown sip. On a week day night with a simple supper when you need spirits uplifting, this is the perfect wine. Just choose your supper dish carefully. Ina Paarman’s Anchovy Pasta with Garlic Breadcrumbs is the perfect partner. Quick and easy to prepare, open the bottle when you start cooking and you’ll have enough left in the bottle to finish. Click here for her recipe.
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