Colmant Sparkled
Experience 4.0 Franschhoek Wine 4.0

Colmant Sparkled

COLMANT CAP CLASSIQUE & CHAMPAGNE
Friday 5 July 2019
https://www.colmant.co.za/

Dr Peter Rating – Experience: 4/5
Dr Peter Rating –
Wines: 4/5

Colmant was due to be my third tasting of my tasting day out in Franschhoek but Haut Cabriere was closed for renovation until September and so I headed to Colmant earlier than planned, arriving just at the 11.00am opening time (weekday closing at 1.00pm). I had come from Le Lude that is just 1 kilometre away and so Colmant was to be my second sparkling wine tasting of the day. The bright winter sunshine made the tree-lined entrance together with the tidy buildings look impressive set against the surrounding mountains even if the marked contrast made good photographs difficult to take. Outside were some of the 3 hectares of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines from the 5 hectare boutique winery, those closest to the Cellar spaced much wider than customary for show purposes.

Colmant

Colmant

Amy was my attentive, cheerful and informative host. Colmant offers Cap Classique as well as Champagne tasting, wines for the latter coming from 3 champagne houses (Tribaut, Follet-Ramillon and Mailly Grand Cru). Tastings cost R25 per glass for the MCC and R45 for the champagne. I opted to taste the available MCC wines. Intriguingly, the South African sparkling wines are referred to as ‘Cap Classique’ rather than ‘Méthode Cape Classique’, albeit all MCC/CC are made using the champagne method in which secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle in which the wine is sold.

Colmant

The difference being that only wines made in the Champagne appellation geographic region can be called champagne. Thus, our MCC are similar in traditional method production to sparkling Vouvray and Saumur (Loire Valley), Crémant (widespread in France and Luxemburg), Cava (Spain) and Franciocorta (Breschia, Italy) but different to the Prosecco, Asti and Lambrusco wines from Italy that use the less costly Charmat (tank or cuve close) method in which secondary fermentation takes place in a pressurised tank. Differences also occur inter alia in permitted grape varieties with almost all MCC made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with a limited number also including Pinot Meunier. Chardonnay typically brings freshness, finesse, acidity, elegance and ageing potential whilst Pinot Noir contributes depth, fullness, structure and fruitiness.

Colmant

Colmant

The wines I drank were all non-vintage. Non vintage sparkling wines are not necessarily of lower quality. MCC, like champagne, are heavily blended to make the right ‘house style’ and this often includes ‘reserve wines’ from previous or older vintages to ensure brand consistency. This happens also in white and red wines but less so. Non vintage wines contain at least 15% of wine from other than the harvest vintage. I began with the Brut Plaisir which is the sole wine in the range without Colmant shown on the label and available only for tasting or purchase from the estate itself. The marketing material gives a useful 3 word description of each wine. ‘Fruity. Fresh. Bright’ were the perfect descriptors for the wine and, as I use my hand-written tasting notes, almost identical to my wine description. The MCC is made using Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes from Franschhoek, Robertson and Elgin in equal amount. This was a light, fruity, clean, refreshing and easy drinking wine that, with 12 months on the lees and 12% alcohol, is made to be drunk now and not for keeping.

Colmant

Colmant

The Brut Reserve was a much more serious, though nonetheless approachable, wine that aptly fitted the ‘Sophisticated. Fresh. Elegant’ description. The MCC is made from grapes grown in the same 3 regions with similar blend proportion (52% Pinot Noir) but includes 10% barrel fermented wine and 20% from previous vintages. Thirty months maturation on the lees gave the wine definite yeasty aromas to add to those of lemon and apple, with extra bite, complexity and intensity compared to the Plaisir.

Colmant

Colmant

I liked the medium salmon colour and fine stream of rising bubbles of the Brut Rosé. The MCC was fresh, sweet strawberry and red berry fruity on the nose, with fewer yeast aromas than the Brut. This is as I expected from 24 months lees contact, a Pinot Noir-led wine (75%) made with an overnight soak-on-the-skins contact for colour and flavour intensity. The Rosé had a good moussante mouthfeel too. ‘Romantic. Harmonious. Gracious’ were perhaps not my choice of 3 words but I can easily understand how this is a popular wine from the Cap Classique Range.

Colmant

Colmant

Jean-Pierre Colmant and his family fell in love with the farm in 2001. The first harvest from newly planted Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines took place in 2006, a year after the Cellar was completed, with the first MCC released in 2008. Six wines now grace the Cap Classique range, including Absolu Zero (no dosage, bone dry, and extended lees contact) and Sec (off-dry) styles. Amy kindly opened a bottle of the Brut Chardonnay for my final wine of the tasting. Made solely from Chardonnay in classic blanc de blancs (white wine from white grapes) manner, the MCC was a beautiful pale gold colour with excellent intensity of apple, citrus and brioche aromas – aided by 45 months on the lees – for a richer, fuller and more elegant wine. It was my favourite of the tasting and worthy of the ‘Delicate. Crisp. Seductive’ marketing words.

Colmant

Colmant

I much enjoyed my experience at Colmant and the sparkling wines. Amy well knew about the wines and the tasting was unpretentious and friendly. I could easily have bought some of the wines – well priced for their quality – but I have a large enough collection waiting to be drunk at home. I liked too how each MCC was distinct and different in character: simple Plaisir; yeasty elegant Brut Reserve; fruity Brut Rosé; and rich, refined Brut Chardonnay. I am sure the champagnes would have been equally as impressive but these shall have to wait until another time …

#capewinelover #DrPeter

Wines tasted (bought *):

Sparkling:

NV Brut Plaisir Cap Classique – R155
NV Brut Reserve Cap Classique – R205
NV Brut Rosé Cap Classique – R205
NV Brut Chardonnay Cap Classique – R285 FAVOURITE WINE

Colmant

You Might Also Like

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

Honest, Affordable Family Wines at Landskroon

I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

Of Female Rugby Players and Ballet Dancers! Let’s Continuously Study Very Seriously: Wines of the Loire and Northern Rhône

Great Value in the Swartland

No Black Marks at Raka

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

Red Chair in the Morning

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

Warwick Wines Win their Colours

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Relaxing Rosendal

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

More Still at Tanagra

Slave to the Rhythm at Solms-Delta

Mixed Spice at the Pinotage Festival

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle

Diploma Done and Dusted – But for the Final Result – I Passed!

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

Allez les Boks – Pas les Bleues!

SMV, SMG, GSM – BLICS and PAPERCLIPS!

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

Becoming Ship-Shape at La Couronne

More-ish Wines at Môreson

More than Just a Destination

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

Big Preparations in the Little Vineyard

The Vineyard Hotel a Classic Vehicle to Showcase L’Ormarins Wines

Swallowing Fine Wines at Paserene

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Simple Spier

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

Taking the Garage into the Classroom

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

Haven Rather than Heaven at La Bri

Where’s the Grande in Provence?

Speed Tasting with Sommelier ‘Royalty’ at my First SASA Meeting

Sa-Bot-Riveur!

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

Where the Lions Roar in the Wild West of Bot Rivier

Altitudes with Wine!

Purring at the Wines in Tyger Valley

Hope Lies High in the Valley

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall

Vrede en Lust Struggled to Reveal it’s Delight

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Lithos Wines Soar above Mountain and Forest

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

Individual Quality at Jordan

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Morgenhof in the Morning

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Class in Glass at Glenelly

All Green at Villiera

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

Iconic Steenberg

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

Mutual Attraction

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

Noble Wines without the Rot

Quoin Rock Gently Roars at Knorhoek

Wines to Love on Love Street

A Warm Welcome in the Cool Climate at South Hill

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

Tram-Way to Heaven in Franschhoek

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

Franschhoek’s Hidden Gem Is Reluctant to Reveal

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

Rickety Tram Passengers at Rickety Bridge

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

Old Oaks at La Bourgogne

Taint, Mould, Sweet-Sour, Elastoplast, Stale Honey, Bee Wax and Potato Skin With the Wine Prof

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

An Early Start at Rietvallei

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

Very Cape Wines at Capaia

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

On the Left, but then on the Right …

Well Hosted and Enjoyable – Even Though I did not Experience at its Best

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

A Myth, a Princess, History and Destruction, 2 Names and 4 Styles – Shiraz with Pizzazz

No Blues at Hillcrest

Summer Whites …… and Rosés

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

Dave Goes Down Under and the Wines Go Up

Waterf-ord More Ord-inary Than Extra-ord-inary

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

Le Lude Left Me Feeling Flat

It’s High Time Again

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

Villion Pairs with Barton in Bot Rivier

House Wine from the Wine Tram

Around the (Old) World in 18 Hours – starting with the European Cuvée!

Being Creative at Flagstone

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Mooi Mooi Mooi Mooiplaas

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Hazendal Fit for a Tsar, a Hare and a God of Wine

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

The Terroir is Honoured in the Bottle at Springfield

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

One Day, Three Tastings, Five Wines and Seven Sisters

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

Beyond Expectation

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Masses of Fun and a little Chaos at the Ambeloui Harvest Festival

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

Quality with Style in the Vineyard

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

Water into Wine at Uitkyk

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

Wines Merely to Lust After

Family Fun in Pairs at Four Cousins

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Late at Lateganskop

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

Au Revoir France!

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

More Plaisir at de Merle Please!

Boutique de Brendel

Blush-endal!

2 Comments

  1. Becoming Ship-Shape at La Couronne – Cape Wine Lovers' Society

    […] Couronne was the final tasting of my day out to Franschhoek after tasting visits to Le Lude, Colmant, La Bourgogne and Haut Espoir. The wineries are all close to each other, barely 2 kilometres apart […]

  2. Only One JC Le Roux Wine Sparkled and Scintilla-ted – Cape Wine Lovers' Society

    […] 3/5. There are many better MCCs for similar price. Vintage Charles Fox in Elgin and Non Vintage Colmant in Franschhoek (closer to R200) immediately come to mind as far better MCC specialists. It was good […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *