If there is anything that I ever do, it will be to encourage people to drink a sparkling wine on an everyday basis rather than keeping a bottle for that special day or the special moment. Sure, have a celebratory bottle when required, but the Steenberg 1682 Brut Chardonnay, a non-vintage Méthode Cap Classique Wine will fit in with any midweek supper as it will with the Perfect Sunday Roast when a large organic chicken is butter roasted and served with crispy roast potatoes and a real gravy.
The Chardonnay grapes for the Steenberg 1682 Brut Chardonnay come from the Robertson, Darling and Bonnievale Wine Appellations. The vines are all trellised, planted in weathered granite soils and vary in age from 20 to 25 years. The method of winemaking is traditionally French and in South Africa is known as Méthode Cap Classique. The grapes are hand harvested and whole bunch pressed producing a juice which is not known for its varietal flavours, though it is high in acidity. The wine is fermented and the prepared for bottling with the shot of ‘liqueur de tirage’ made up of sugar and a special Champagne yeast. This fermentation takes place and the wine lies on its lees for anything up to 18 months. It is then degorged and prepared for the market shelf.
From a classical Champagne shaped bottle closed under natural cork and the little wire muzzle to keep the cork in its place. The labelling for the Steenberg 1682 Brut Chardonnay is bright yellow, the foiling around the top of the bottle is gold. In the glass, the Steenberg 1682 Brut Chardonnay is a pale lemon straw in colour. The finest of bubbles rush headlong to the surface and form a little crown around the edges on the surface. The aromas are of purity of fruit, green apples, sweet lime preserve and fresh white fleshed peaches. The palate, alive with bubbles, is complex with layers of oven warm almond brioche, poached nectarines and nuts. Very satisfying glass.
Do chill the wine well in an ice bucket or in the fridge. Just perfection as a glass on its own, though it does like a little counterpoint in a fine snack. Of course, oysters, smoked salmon come to mind. However, it is good with sushi, sashimi, ceviche too. You would certainly find many a dish on the BistroSixteen82 or the Catharina’s menu, these two being the excellent restaurants on the Steenberg Estate. Ina Paarman’s Posh Pap and Boerewors Bites are just perfect as a pre-dinner snack, if somewhat quirky. I like quirky. Click here for her recipe.
Read more about Steenberg Farm – CLICK HERE