Delaire Graff Estate, the “Jewel of the Cape Winelands”, has made a notable contribution to South African Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) with the launch of its first Champagne-style blend. Deviating from the traditional South African MCC grape varietals, the ground-breaking Delaire Graff Sunrise Brut is a crémant blend driven by Chenin Blanc. Named after the magnificent 118.08 carat Delaire Sunrise, the largest square emerald cut fancy vivid yellow diamond in the world cut and polished by Graff Diamonds, the Delaire Graff Sunrise Brut is resplendent in its own right with its pale yellow colour.
“The Sunrise Brut epitomises the excellence and innovation that is inherent in the vineyards and all our wines,” says Delaire Graff Estate’s General Manager, Johann Laubser. “It also reflects what is achievable if the adventurous spirit of South African winemakers is given freedom to explore.”
It was during a stint spent in France three years ago that winemaker Morné Vrey first tasted aCrémant de Loire sparkling wine blend. Allure of the unconventional enticed him away from using the traditional MCC varieties of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
“South Africa is famous for Chenin Blanc wines and vineyards, some of which are ancient. As a result, these vineyards have always offered an invitation to winemakers to push the envelope in terms of style,” says Vrey. The Sunrise Brut is a blend of Chenin Blanc (58%), Chardonnay (34%) and Cabernet Franc (8%). Green-tinged and pale lemon yellow in colour, it displays a fine and integrated mousse with aromas of fresh gooseberry on the nose with citrus notes of lime and grapefruit. The palate is delicate yet complex with subtle hints of vanilla The Sunrise Brut is a zesty, fresh and balanced wine that lingers long after the last sip.
The MCC comes on the heels of the estate’s other prominent release – the second vintage of the flagship Laurence Graff Reserve. Only released in exceptional vintages, the Laurence Graff Reserve 2011 is the much anticipated second vintage and follows the outstanding success of the first release having sold out in weeks. Meticulously made with a gentle hand in the estate cellar, the wine underwent a rigorous selection process that identified only the best 5 barrels from 21. The nose is characterised by freshness and spice, vanilla pod, dark chocolate and hay aromas. Silky and smooth on the palate at first, the wine unsheathes a flinty minerality with subtle tannins, huge length and persistence. The flavour profile is dominated by tangy, ripe, red berries together with brambles and cassis – classical Cabernet flavours expected in a top quality claret.
The Delaire Sunrise, with a retail value of R275.00 a bottle, and the Laurence Graff Reserve, R2 000.00 a bottle, are both available exclusively from the Delaire Graff Estate. Delaire Graff Estate is situated on the R310, along the Helshoogte Pass from Stellenbosch with panoramic views of the estate vineyards and Simonsberg Mountain. The Wine Lounge is open daily from 10am and offers a curated wine experience.