When one commits your life to a purpose, which in Pieter Ferreira’s case is pursuing the perfect bubble, withdrawal isn’t an option. Ferreira has been an incredibly loyal and integral part of Graham Beck Winery; one of the world’s leading MCC producers, since its inception. Most vintners eventually leave their posts to fly their own flag, way before they reach the retirement age. Being consumed by bubbles, alongside his dedication to the MCC house he grew up in, Pieter kept his feet firmly in Graham Beck’s cellar.
Graham Beck had initially stated that Pieter would need to retire next year, once he reached sixty. In lieu of retirement Pieter and his wife Anne started developing the Pieter Ferreira brand in 2012. Anne explains that Pieter simply wouldn’t work without bubbles. Hence their first joint venture ‘Pieter Ferreira Blanc de Blancs 2012’ which was released earlier this year. Only two thousand bottles were produced. The aim was to show the best expression of a Method Cap Classique made from one hundred per cent chardonnay. The fruit was selected from various sites from Darling and Robertson; consisting of decomposed granite and weathered shale with rich limestone deposits. After whole bunch pressing, with the separation of cuvee from the taille; the clear juice was fermented in stainless steel with a portion fermented in traditional barrels. After the first fermentation, the wine was prepared for secondary fermentation in the bottle. The wine was left on the lees for an exceptional five years before the sediment was removed in the traditional process of remuage and dégorgement. The bottles were then corked and laid down for a further six months cork maturation before release earlier this year.
In the Ferreira’s highly acclaimed opinion 2012 was one of The Cape’s greatest vintages to date. The vintage shows wonderful balance in the wine, ripe fruit and exceptional restraint. The result is unsurprisingly one of the best MCCs that the market has ever seen. Zero dosage gives the wine an exceptional freshness and a mineral core; it is vibrant and youthful with an alluring nose of green apple, bracing citrus and an intriguing salinity. The vivaciousness is paralleled by depth and complexity from the less ageing; fond toasty brioche nuances seasoned with grated nutmeg. It has a startling length, persistent- tightly knit bubbles and a gentle attractive mousse. These attributes harmonise in the highest ever rated Method Cap Classique and recipient of The Newcomer of Year Award in the 2020 John Platters Guide.
“As one of SA wine’s elder statesmen and its undisputed ‘bubbly king’ Pieter Ferreira is no newcomer… but this project of his and his wife Ann’s is indeed a new venture – and a marvellously successful one: the first release, a suburb, long matured Blanc de Blancs 2012 is our Méthode Cap Classique of The Year with the highest score the Guide has ever awarded a sparkling wine.”
This has quickly become my ‘special occasion MCC’. Standing against a mainstream Champagne this Christmas it shone bright; far more beguiling. Captivating celebration.
Pieter’s life’s mission is to perfect the art of the bubble. And here stands the most accomplished bubble we have seen being produced in South Africa, which came out of his resistance to give up on this mission – proudly and perfectly it is in a beautiful bottle exhibiting the bubbly king’s name Pieter Ferreira.