For many years a leader in the production of méthode cap classique wines, this winery, founded by the late mining magnate Graham Beck and now owned by his family, resolved in 2016 to concentrate only on its portfolio of high-end sparkling wines, with the still-wine brands being sold off. The decision was accompanied by another: to invest substantially in the Madeba estate in Robertson. A major cellar expansion and an intensive vineyard replanting programme were begun, to continue well into 2018. The highly esteemed Pieter Ferreira – making bubblies here for approaching three decades (and famously generous in building the capacity of his competitors) – will continue to lead the house’s grand ambitions in its latest phase.
Unlike all-chardonnay 2011, 2012 mostly pinot noir (77%), 60 months on lees, no dosage (added sugar) for bone-dry palate, almost austere finish. Taut, mineral & linear, with red berry tang. Perfect seafood partner.
The portfolio flagship has a regal presence, its relatively low sugar (5.5 g/l), bracing acidity & enlivening minerality countering impressive weight & creamy texture from 5 years on lees. 2011 lovely lime & orange tones from chardonnay (80%, some barrel fermented) & pinot noir. No 2010.