6 PACK, 750ml BOTTLES, $54.99 EACH
Overberg Highlands, South Africa
90 Points, James Suckling
A bright orange-pink sparkling with aromas of grapefruit peel, cherries, dried strawberries and biscuits. Saline undertones. Medium-bodied with sharp acidity and medium bubbles. Dry and savory. Drink now.
The sun hesitated and hung above the western mountains, reluctant to lose sight of the valley. This caused earth to suddenly stop its wobbly spin and everything went flying. Cows and sheep and hay bales and trucks went hurtling overhead – flying off over the horizon.
But I was expecting this, because it had happened before. In fact, it happened a lot during spring when the valley was at its most beautiful. I had tied myself to a thick vineyard pole and fastened an ice bucket to my leg with some scrap trellis wire. Carefully placed in the ice bucket was a bottle of Penelope. A champagne flute was strapped to my hand with stretchy, white, electrical tape (because the only other colour I had in the toolbox was yellow and that was obviously going to clash with the colour of the wine). Now I know exactly what you are thinking… “when everything was flying around, how the hell did he keep the bottle in the ice bucket?”
Aha, great question! With an elastic rope tied around the neck, of course. It almost snapped and broke free when earth stopped. My plan would have been dashed had I not also cable-tied the bottle to the ice bucket handle!
Call me OCD, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Now the recent yoga practice came in handy as I bent down, loosened the wire with my spare hand and watched the cork fly out, followed by the wine. I was ready! I managed to catch about half a glass of the torrent, the rest spraying over the vineyard.
And I watched the sun sit there in the amazed sky and it watched me back. At that moment we both knew how beautiful the valley was, but the sun knew I could also taste it.
This wine is a great accompaniment to our Overberg Highland sunsets and as an aperitif before dinner. It is fresh, creamy, with soft red fruit flavours on the palate and aromas of mangosteen and strawberry. It also pairs brilliantly with seafood like sustainably-farmed oysters and abalone.
We pick the vines early to retain the lively natural acidity which will keep the eventual wine fresh for decades. After traditional whole-bunch basket-pressing, we allow the wine to ferment in old barrels. This allows us to build creamy mouthfeel without imparting any wood flavour to the wine. After a few months’ maturation in barrel, the wine is transferred to their bottles for the secondary fermentation, where the CO2 bubbles are entrapped into the wine in the traditional Champagne method.