Colmant Sparkled
Experience 4.0 Franschhoek Wine 4.0

Colmant Sparkled

Friday 5 July 2019

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.



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.


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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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 *):


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


You Might Also Like

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

Old Oaks at La Bourgogne

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

Altitudes with Wine!

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

Becoming Ship-Shape at La Couronne

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick


Waxing Lyrical about Canto

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

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

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Slave to the Rhythm at Solms-Delta

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

Allez les Boks – Pas les Bleues!

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

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

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle

Big Preparations in the Little Vineyard

Great Value in the Swartland

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

Relaxing Rosendal

Taking the Garage into the Classroom

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Lithos Wines Soar above Mountain and Forest

More Still at Tanagra

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

Noble Wines without the Rot

Boutique de Brendel

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

Purring at the Wines in Tyger Valley

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

More-ish Wines at Môreson

More than Just a Destination

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Haven Rather than Heaven at La Bri

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

On the Left, but then on the Right …

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

It’s High Time Again

A Warm Welcome in the Cool Climate at South Hill

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

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

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

No Black Marks at Raka

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

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

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

More Plaisir at de Merle Please!

Franschhoek’s Hidden Gem Is Reluctant to Reveal

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

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

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

Class in Glass at Glenelly

Wines to Love on Love Street

Hope Lies High in the Valley

Where’s the Grande in Provence?

Au Revoir France!

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

Wines Merely to Lust After

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

Tram-Way to Heaven in Franschhoek

Simple Spier

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Villion Pairs with Barton in Bot Rivier

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier

Where the Lions Roar in the Wild West of Bot Rivier

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

Water into Wine at Uitkyk

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

Individual Quality at Jordan

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

Le Lude Left Me Feeling Flat

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

Mutual Attraction

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

Summer Whites …… and Rosés

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

Quality with Style in the Vineyard

One Day, Three Tastings, Five Wines and Seven Sisters

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Swallowing Fine Wines at Paserene

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

Red Chair in the Morning

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

Mixed Spice at the Pinotage Festival

Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi


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

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

Honest, Affordable Family Wines at Landskroon

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

Warwick Wines Win their Colours

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

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

Rickety Tram Passengers at Rickety Bridge

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Dave Goes Down Under and the Wines Go Up

House Wine from the Wine Tram

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

The Terroir is Honoured in the Bottle at Springfield

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

Mooi Mooi Mooi Mooiplaas

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

Iconic Steenberg

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

An Early Start at Rietvallei

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed


iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall

Late at Lateganskop

Beyond Expectation

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Vrede en Lust Struggled to Reveal it’s Delight

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

Being Creative at Flagstone

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

Family Fun in Pairs at Four Cousins

Leave a Reply

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