I was lucky enough to be invited back to the festival by Pongrácz, one of South Africa’s favourite MCC producers, this time to sip instead of pour.
Earlier this year they released the bold ‘Noble Nectar’ demi sec MCC. (RRP R140) Most prestigious Champagne houses have a demi sec in their range so it makes sense that Pongrácz does too. South Africa has a history of loving the sweeter side of wine so this could only be a hit. There is always a time and a place for a demi sec, even for the most prestigious palate. Some connoisseurs may publicly turn their nose up at a sweeter style of bubbly, in champagne the subject is an elephant in the room. There’s still a prejudice surrounding the style. In the past people would add sugar to their Champagne to hide faults so it has a negative connotation.
No one likes to talk about demi-sec in the region, but a lot of people like to drink it. The style isn’t going out of fashion, if anything it’s getting more popular.
I must admit I had a little ‘wine flu’ on Sunday or was it ‘jagermeister flu’?! So the extra 1-2 teaspoons of sugar in the bubbles went down a treat! Rather than your fresh apples and citrus you expect on MCC – the Noble Nectar displayed juicy pears and litchis all complimented with delicate bubbles and a beautiful yeasty aroma.
The other MCC in Pongrácz’s line up that grabbed my attention was the DESIDERIUS – Chardonnay (60%) and Pinot Noir (40%) which was left on the lees for 72 months. This extended lees contact adds extra toasty, yeasty nuances – buttered brioche, roasted almonds epitomised and a rich complexity. The bubbles are still lively and the palate still fresh.
Thank you Pongrácz for taking me on your journey and for the beautiful bubbles!