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Blend: Colmant Brut Reserve NV is a blend of Pinot Noir 52%, Chardonnay 48% (Franschhoek, Robertson, Elgin, Somerset-West and Stellenbosch). 10% of the blend is made of reserve wine from the previous vintage and 12% of the base wine is barrel fermented.
Ageing: 28 months minimum on the lees at steady 13°C temperature.
Tasting: A subtle pale gold color with a very clean and elegant nose. The aroma has a gentle spicy toastiness with a lemon / yeasty perfume followed by more mature fruit. Plenty of freshness on the palate, with a good acidity which perfectly balances the yeasty depth, bready flavors and ample structure. Long smooth finish. Will develop nicely over the years.
Drinking tips: Divine as an aperitif and loyal as a party buddy, it also goes perfectly with oysters, sushis or any delicate seafood.
"The Brut Reserve (disgorged April 2018) was 10% fermented in French oak barrel and includes 20% reserve vintages. It spent 30 months on the lees. The well-defined, focused nose features bright citrus lemon and hints of baked bread. The palate is well balanced with a taut, crisp, citric entry. This is vivacious, very pretty and graced with lovely apricot hints on the finish. A superb MCC from Colmant. - Neal Martin"
- Vinous (August 28th 2018), 91 pts
"Fresh with leesy notes, a fine mousse and delicate palate of minerals and green citrus zest, this is a first class New World sparkler. It’s rich enough to enjoy on its own or with white meats. It’s a 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay aged on the lees for 30 months and 25% reserve wines from earlier vintages."
-International Wine Review, 91 pts
"Disgorged February 2011, the Non-vintage Brut Reserve is a blend of 52% Pinot Noir and 48% Chardonnay based on the 2008 vintages blended with reserve wines from 2007 and 2006 (25% of the blend), aged for 30 months on the lees. It has a very fine pettillance in the glass. The nose is very well defined with crushed stone, oyster shell and the subtle perfume of fine lees coming through with aeration. The palate is very crisp and lively on the entry with vibrant acidity, a citrus thread from start to finish, and though it is not a powerful Cap Classique, it is wonderfully poised with great persistence on the fresh lime and Granny Smith-tinged finish.
There are many alternatives to Champagne, and South Africa is no exception with some fine “Method Cap Classique.” Jean-Philippe Colmant hired winemaker Nicolas Follet to create a small range of impressive sparkling wines; they eschew malolactic fermentation and practice extended lees aging."
- eRobertParker.com , 92 pts
It was day 6 in South Africa and we find ourselves outside of beautiful Cape Town, in the country near the Riebeek Kasteel area in Swartland. Let's talk a little about my accommodations before I tell you about this amazing bubbly. We arrive at the one and only hotel in Riebeek to find out that there were not enough rooms open for all.
We reached out to our contact at Riebeek cellars, who we will refer to as "Point Break" from now on. For those of you that have not seen the movie Point Break, this guy looked and sounded like a blonde Keanu Reeves with a Dutch accent. Anyway, Point Break tells me that they have secured a small bed and breakfast that we could use for the overflow. Sounded nice...so I opted for it.
Upon arrival, the home was beautiful on the outside with a catchy French name, "Shades of Provence". After Point Break fiddled with the skeleton key and lock for a good 35 minutes in the rain, we finally get to see the inside of our new home. The door opened straight into the kitchen where the first thing I noticed was the mouse sh*t all over the place. It was winter there and the mice were trying to stay warm, I'm sure. Little did they know this damn place had no heat.
Besides myself and my fiancee Sylvia, there were 3 other people and a total of four rooms. At this point I knew I better drag both our suitcases up those steps and get to the best room before everyone else. At stroke-causing speed, I skipped up the steps nearly knocking Point Break on his back and went through the rooms. I settled for a nice corner room with the least amount of dirt on the concrete floor and with only one or two spider webs on the wrought iron bed post.
For dinner that night, we returned to the hotel restaurant to join the rest of our group. The 5 of us forced to stay in the bed and breakfast were in a far worse mood than everyone around us. Arriving late, we sat at the end of the dinning table and hoarded as much wine as possible to try and drink ourselves to a point where we could sleep in that disgrace of a French country side home that Point Break secured for us.
That night, I slept with the lights on, all my clothes on, and on top of the sheets hoping to avoid spider bites. I awoke that morning to Sylvia standing over me holding what looked like a hot water knob off of the shower. "It wasn't even attached.", she said. Sylvia proceeds to take a "whore-bath" in the sink using her own packed sock as a wash cloth. It was the only thing she deemed clean. To top it off, in a brief moment of happiness she finds a hair dryer in a cabinet. She pulled it out in triumph only to realize that there was a used condom stuck to the side of it. Obviously, this is her last trip to South Africa.
The Colmant Estate
Together with our 5 children, we made the "big move" in 2002 from French-speaking Belgium to Franschhoek. Having owned and run a stone manufacturing business for twelve years in Belgium we felt the time had come to change direction , to attempt something new, to create something that we could enjoy doing now and that would benefit our children in years to come.
Whilst travelling in South Africa we happened upon the beautiful Franschhoek Valley. Here we purchased a 5ha smallholding which was part of the original La Motte farm granted to one of the French Huguenots back in 1694. What better place to establish a property dedicated to the production of fine bubbles? We set about planting new vineyards and constructing a cellar dedicated to the age old method of Champagne production.
Our cellar was erected from scratch in 2005. According to our philosophy of hands-on quality, we designed a cellar that was both modern, small and efficient, which allows us to control the whole production cycle. The cellar has been built in a "Cape Vernacular" style which matches the existing homestead and has wrap-around views of the valley and nestles under the majestic Middagkrans peak.
The tanks room is equipped with 14 stainless steel tanks with capacities from 1000 L to 14000 L, allowing greater flexibility in the handling of the different grape parcels. Our cold room allows us to cool over 8 tons of grapes freshly picked down to 0°C overnight before pressing, giving amazing results in the quality of the juice. The barrels room, built in a rustic brick wall style, is maintained permanently at a cool temperature of 13°C and a perfect level of humidity.
...And probably the most important is the bottle maturation room, with a storage capacity of over 100.000 bottles and where your Cap Classique will quietly and gently mature in the bottle for 2 years or more, in the dark and at a steady temperature of 13 to 14°C.
Our tasting room is casual but classy, with a cosy fire place for winter days and a lovely pergola covered stoep looking up at the Middagkrans Mountain.
We use exclusively Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in our production process, more or less in equal proportions. Each variety has its own personality :
Pinot Noir imparts structure and power to the blend and adds depth, complexity, backbone, strength and fullness. It often produces a light, earthy, red fruits aroma.
Chardonnay brings finesse, life, freshness, elegance. Chardonnay is detected at first in Methode Traditionnelle with its intensity and perfume., with floral and sometimes mineral aromas. Its slow development gives an ideal ageing potential.
The most crucial part of making a refined bubbly being the blending, it is of the utmost importance for us to select the perfect blending components, each one bringing an extra dimension to the final product. For that reason, we select our grapes from different valleys, according to the specificity of each terroir, ensuring that we have enough components to work with to make a base wine with maximum complexity.
Our Chardonnay is sourced mainly from the Franschhoek Valley renowned for it’s Chardonnays which offer a perfect balance between full structure and a level of acidity that brings freshness and vivacity... 70% of the Chardonnay is produced on our farm, 3 hectares of vineyards maintained by ourselves under the supervision of viticulturist Paul Wallace. The rest of the Chardonnay is sourced from the limy soils of Robertson.
Our Pinot Noir is carefully selected from 5 different farms located in Robertson, Elgin, and Stellenbosch, all areas recognized to be the most suitable places to produce Pinot Noir combining body and finesse.
Rebuli Prosecco is a noble wine with a bright straw color, made from a selection of Prosecco grapes, which highlights the flavors and perfumes of the area. It is ideal for important occasions and as an aperitif. It is also excellent with risotto and noble meat.
"Pretty silvery straw color. Orange, juicy lemon, peach aromas with a crisp, lightly effervescent, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a long, tangy mineral, starfruit and spice accented finish. Exceptional flavorful, balanced and stylish. A perfect aperitif."
World Wine Championship Award: GOLD MEDAL
Beverage Testing Institute - May 9th 2011 - 91 points (Exceptional)
"Toasty, which makes this a little more champagnelike and perhaps more familiar to consumers. Nice balance; quite refreshing."
- Washington Post (Dec 08) - VERY GOOD
"This wine is so much fun that it seems vaguely illegal. Lightly floral in aroma, it shows fresh but restrained fruit flavors. The effervescence is abundant but soft, yet the wine remains structural and refreshing thanks to crisp acidity. Clearly the top pop for parties." - Washington Post (2006)
"Very pale straw. Very fine mousse. Nice elegant bead. Aromas of fresh bread dough, pear, touch of marzipan. Light attack. Semi-dry. Licorice note on palate. Soft, light. Simple, light pear flavors."
- International Wine Review (Dec 08)
This large Spumante estate with just over 100 acres of vines produces high-quality Prosecco. The non-vintage Rebuli Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Extra Dry is light-bodied and flowery with plenty of white peach, orange and pineapple notes in its exotic aromatics and flavors. It is off-dry, but most consumers would consider it to be a dry sparkling wine. Drink it over the next 12-18 months.-Robert Parker 90 Points
Rebuli Prosecco Cartizze Grand Cru is a noble wine with a clear straw color, it exhibits pleasant and delicate fruity flavors and is a perfect match to desserts.
"Here's an Italian sparkling wine that opens to a very delicate bouquet that is held together with light floral aromas of jasmine and lemon blossom. The Rebuli NV Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze Dry is light, delicate and precious in terms of its aromatic output. Its texture is mostly built upon the silky creaminess of the very compact and fine effervescence. A point of sweetness adds to a sense of softness. This is your textbook Cartizze sparkler. Fruit is from the 2017 vintage, although it is not recorded as such on the bottle."
- 90 Point Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #237, June 2018)
Alain de la Treille Merlot is made from 100 percent Merlot.
This Merlot has a deep red color. On the nose aromas of red fruits with a herbal note and spicy scents.
This wine reveals a complex and elegant bouquet that combines ripe fruit, leather and a fine woodiness. Round and warm on the attack, the palate is supported by solid tannins and a pleasant freshness in this harmonious and well textured wine.
The Merlot bring fruity notes and minerality from the clay-limestone terroir, enhanced by the incredibly expressive and spicy Cabernet Franc.
"A terrific effort from this large and immaculately maintained property on the clay-limestone slopes of the Côtes de Castillon, the 2019 d'Aiguilhe exhibits aromas of cherries and cassis mingled with notions of burning embers, licorice and warm spices. Medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with lively acids, powdery tannins and a mineral finish, it's intelligently matured in tank and large-format oak as well as small barriques. - William Kelley"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (April 2022), 92 pts
"The 2019 d'Aiguilhe has a really lovely bouquet of ample black cherry, mulberry and light floral scents, very pure and delineated. The palate is medium-bodied with cedar-infused red fruit. While not as exuberant as the aromatics, this is nicely detailed and quite poised on the finish. No, I still cannot pronounce its name, but this Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux is well worth seeking out. - Neal Martin"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (February 2022), 92 pts
B Leighton Petit Verdot is made from 100 percent Petit Verdot.
Beautiful, lively and focused at first approach. Expressing black cassis, blackberry, brambles and thyme combining with crushed gravel, pencil shavings and floral notes. It is a fantastic expression of Petit Verdot that is rich and velvet on the palate, all at the same time. So much depth and length it seriously takes your breath away.
Lastly, the 2016 Petit Verdot comes from a higher elevation block and was brought up in 40% new French oak. It has a great bouquet of white pepper, chocolatey dark fruits, tobacco, and a kiss of violets to go with a full-bodied, incredible elegant profile on the palate. You don’t find Petit Verdot with this level of finesse very often, and it has silky tannins, good mid-palate concentration, and a great finish. It’s another stunning wine from Leighton I’d be thrilled to drink over the coming 10-15 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
Avennia Valery Red Blend is made from 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc
Valery is named for the patron saint of wine in the St. Emilion region that inspired it.
We started with old vine Merlot from a stony block in the heart of the Yakima Valley and added complex, aromatic Cabernet Franc from the Horse Heaven Hills. The result is a balanced, complex wine with the elegance and ethereal perfume that this blend of two of Washington’s best varietals are known for.
The nose on this wine is very perfumed, almost exotic with notes of fresh violets, red plum, winter mint, fresh herbs and crushed limestone qualities. The palate is poised and balanced, with red fruits and mocha powder encapsulated in limestone. The finish lingers delicately, with the Cabernet Franc asserting a light tobacco and herb note, giving depth. A compelling wine that will continue to unwind for 7-10 years in the cellar.
"Brought up in 30% new French oak, the 2016 Valery (70/30 Merlot and Cabernet Franc) offers more black cherry and earthy, herbal notes as well as a medium-bodied, seamless, beautifully balanced style. It too shows a vibrant, fresh, yet concentrated style that has a Bordeaux feel in its weight and texture."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 93 pts
"Good medium-dark red. Aromas of blueberry, mocha, licorice and violet are a bit darker than those of the 2015 version. Dense and penetrating, with wild flavors of dark berries, licorice and game given lift by rocky minerality and a minty nuance. Chris Peterson slightly acidified his Cabernet Franc from Champoux Vineyard, which he added to the wine for richness. This beauty may yet tighten up in the bottle.- Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2018), 92+ pts
Colmant Brut Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay (Franschhoek and Robertson).
15% of the base wine has been barrel fermented.
Ageing: This wine spends a minimum of 45 months on the lees at a consistent temperature of 14C before degorgement.
Tasting: Delicate light gold color with a lime-green hue. The nose is fresh, lemony and floral with notes of green apple, followed by yeasty and biscuity aromas brought by the lengthy maturation on the lees. Very fine bead of bubbles with a persistent mousse. Opulent on the palate, this wine shows a harmonious balance between fresh zestiness, mineral complexity and a warm breadth of leesy creaminess. It promises to develop great texture over time.
Drinking tips: Ideal with pan fried scallops or line fish "au beurre blanc", it is also the oyster's best friend and will enhance the flavors of parmesan, asparagus, artichokes, parma ham,…
"The core of this wine, which subsequently spent 52 months on lees, comes from the 2015 vintage and shows the ageing potential for which Colmant bubblies are famous. Savoury, fresh and intense, with plenty of colour, added complexity from reserve material, notes of aniseed and citrus peel and a fine, refreshing finish. 2021-25"
- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2020 Report), 93 pts
There are many alternatives to Champagne, and South Africa is no exception with some fine “Method Cap Classique.” Jean-Philippe Colmant hired winemaker Nicolas Follet to create a small range of impressive sparkling wines; they eschew malolactic fermentation and practice extended lees aging.- NM"
- eRobertParker.com (Issue #196, August 2011), 92 pts
A blanc de blanc with the heart of Chardonnay, the NV Brut Chardonnay has focused citrus tones on the nose with notes of yellow pear and green apple. The oak is subtle here, with a solid beam of acidity through the mid-palate. The wine is thoughtful and focused, and the finish leaves my mouth watering; there is serious acidity here, and they are doing it right. Colmant is the little guy doing some really great things— quietly focused wines, with serious aging potential. Keep this small producer on your radar. I expect nothing but great things in years to come from JP Colmant and his new winemaker, Paul Gerber, formerly of Le Lude. - Anthony Mueller"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 91+ pts
"Our favorite Colmant sparkler by far, this blanc de blancs would easily pass for good quality Champagne. It’s pale straw with a fine bead with biscuit and lemon aromas. Very flavorful and complex on a rich palate with a persistent finish, it’s 100% Chardonnay, 15% barrel fermented, and spends 4 years on the lees. RS 5 g/L"
- I-WineReview 92 pts
Lovely salmon pink color. A very delicate nose of strawberry and redcurrant fruit with floral undertones. There is a silky richness on the palate full of red berries balanced with a subtle bready texture. Very accessible. Will also develop nicely over time.
Colmant Brut Rose NV is made from 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay
This wine spends a minimum of 24 months on the lees at a consistent temperature of 14C before degorgement.15% of the base wine has been barrel fermented.
Pinot Noir 75%, Chardonnay 25% (Franschhoek, Robertson and Elgin).
15% of the blend is made of reserve wine from the previous vintages and 15% of the base wine is barrel fermented.
This wine spends a minimum of 24 months on the lees at a consistent temperature of 14°C before degorgement.
Perfect as a summer sundowner. A delicious complement to white meat, strawberry dessert and decadent dark chocolate.
"The Brut Rosé (disgorged March 2018) is a blend of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay with 15% base wine and 15% reserve wine, with the Pinot Noir macerated on its skins for color, matured on the lees for 24 months. Deep salmon in color, it has a fine mousse and attractive strawberry and cherry scents on the nose - no shy and retiring rosé here. The palate is well balanced with Braeburn apples, hints of strawberry and a touch of tart cherries fanning out toward the creamy-textured, satisfying finish. A sparkling rosé that’s proud to be pink!- Neal Martin"
- Vinous (August 28th 2018), 91 pts
Georges Cartier Champagne Brut Tradition NV is made from 65% Pinot Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir, and 10% Chardonnay.
This champagne was made to reflect the potential of each grape growing areas of the Champagne region.
The grapes for Georges Cartier Brut Tradition have been carefully selected from the 3 emblematic areas of Champagne. Chardonnay is sourced from the Côte des Blancs, Pinot Noir from Montagne de Reims and Pinot Meunier from the Marne Valley.
Each grape variety brings its own character and specific quality to the wine: Pinot Meunier brings fruit and roundness, Pinot Noir brings character, power, structure and balance, while Chardonnay contributes to the finesse, minerality and elegance of the result wine.
The blend in 2022 will be 70% 2018 vintage and 30% of reserve wines (consisting of 2014, 2015 and 2016 vintages).
It will be RD (meaning "Recently Disgorged") to keep freshness, fruitiness, minerality and elegance.
"A blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay. Lemon drop and buttercup combine with lime sorbet. Bubbles burst with ease and the wine’s mineral tone keeps the palate cleansed."
- The Tasting Panel (May/June 20022), 93 pts
This 100% Chardonnay blend is made from Tête de Cuvée, or first pressing of the grapes, considered superior in quality, with a high percentage of reserve wines for extra complexity, depth and richness, and a low added dosage to preserve purity and freshness.
Baron Aime Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Rose NV is made from 85% Pinot Noir & 15% Chardonnay.
Light pink color with coppery shades. The citrus notes blend subtly with aromas of strawberry, forming a fresh and delicate bouquet. The palate is lively, with notes of grapefruit and fresh bread. Together they form a rich, fresh and vibrant wine.
"Steely amber color. Aromas and flavors of strawberry, green apple, toasted oats, and creme fraiche with a satiny, lively, finely carbonated, dry light-to-medium body and a tingling, intricate, medium-length finish that presents overtones of slightly under ripe wild strawberries, apricot, warm bread dough, and lemon zest. Lively and bright for a perfect apéritif yet with just enough richness and body to carry you in seamlessly to the first course."
- Beverage Testing Institute (November 2022), 94 pts - GOLD MEDAL - BEST BUY
Giorgio Z Zaglia Rosis Brut Rose NV is made from 100% Merlot.
Brilliant pink colored wine with orange reflections; delicate floral and fruity aromas. Elegant and rounded palate, fresh and well-balanced with ripe pear and bread crust flavors.
Excellent on its own as an aperitif, or enjoy it throughout the meal with fish, soups, vegetables. Best served at a temperature of 8-10 °C
In the far northwest corner of the Sonoma Coast appellation, near the town of Annapolis, the vineyard sits just five miles from the Pacific Ocean, and provides a poignant setting for producing pinot noir with elegance, great precision, and intensity.
-James Suckling 97 Points
Banfi Brunello di Montalcino Poggio Alle Mura Riserva.
The wine has a deep ruby red color and an intense aroma of ripe dark fruits, such as blackberry, black cherry, and plum, along with hints of vanilla, chocolate, and toasted oak. On the palate, it is full-bodied, rich, and complex, with firm tannins, well-balanced acidity, and a long, persistent finish. It is a wine that requires aging, and can be enjoyed after 10-15 years from the vintage date, or even longer.
98 points, Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator: “Stunning, showing black cherry, blackberry, plum, leather, earth and iron aromas and flavors that work in tandem with the supple texture and dense structure. This has a good feel, between its level of ripe fruit and firm tannins, to age well. Excellent length. Best from 2026 through 2045. 1,220 cases made, 75 cases imported.” 06/22
-Wine Spectator 98 Points