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Tanzanite Brut Method Cap Classique NV

ID No: 445885
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 Wine Advocate: 90 90 Points
Country:South Africa
Region:Western Cape
Winery:Tanzanite Wines
Grape Type:Chardonnay
Vintage:NV
Bottle Size:750 ml
Product Description

Tanzanite Brut Method Cap Classique is made from 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir.

Fruity, flinty, nutty, honey and creamy notes and beautiful brioche tones are coming through on the nose. It’s dry, lingering and well structured. The Pinot noir gives the wine good backbone, structure and longevity and the Chardonnay gives flintiness which develops in creamy, elegant notes in the wine with ageing. Beautiful creamy mousse.

Tanzanite Wines Yearly source their grapes from Robertson in the Western Cape, famous for its specific areas with chalk in the soil. After sourcing these spots winemaker Melanie van der Merwe asked farmer Ernst Bruwer, from the Farm Mont Blois, to plant Chardonnay and Pinot noir grapes on these spots. After years of trials she realized that year after year the base wines made from these plots compared to base wines made from any other areas tends to mature much slower and gives beautiful complexity in the end product. At around 18.5 to 19 degrees balm hand picking of the grapes are done in small 18kg baskets. This is transported to a press house, which she rents during harvest time. She does whole bunch pressing on every 5 Ton of grapes. Yields are around 480- 500 liters of juice per ton of grapes. Juice is inoculated with Prise de Mousse yeast a specific French yeast strain she uses. Fermentation at cool temperatures for 8-10 days takes place and this is followed by Malolactic fermentation on all base wines. After MLF wines are blended. Secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle and wines are left on the lees to mature and tasted every few months to monitor the ageing on the lees. Minimum time spent on the lees will be 24 months.

It’s the only area in the Western Cape where you will find Chalk in our soil.
Age of the vines is around 8-15 years old.

Enjoy as an aperitif or with fresh seafood, oysters, smoked venison Carpaccio, creamy chicken, apple crumble and even Cape Malay curry.

Review:

"This is a richly flavored sparkler showing complex notes of brioche, apple, and a hint of clementine. It’s bone dry on the finish with lingering toasty lees notes. A blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir aged 24+ months on the lees. The winemaker is Stellenbosch enology grad Melanie van der Merwe who made sparkling wine for 11 years at Distell before starting her own brand."
- International Wine Review (Champagnes & Sparkling Wines for the Holidays: The Best of 2018), 90 pts

"A blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir, the NV Brut begins with biscuity aromas followed by green apple, citrus blossoms and lees. The palate is focused with precision and finesse and shows that the winemaker has taken a lot of time and effort to create this wine. Bright, energetic acidity livens up the mid-palate, and the mousse is firm with a soft nuttiness from the autolytic characteristic. The finish is long and subtly spicy with and lingers with notes of sweet brioche and cashew butter, as the wine spent two years on the lees. - Anthony Mueller" - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (March 2020), 90 pts


Winery: Tanzanite Wines

The name Tanzanite, was inspired by Melanie's birthstone - the rare, beautiful and highly sought-after Tanzanite - this singular wine expresses her passion for creating unique sparkling wines in the time honored way.

She hires cellar space and makes her base wine in the old traditional French way of Hand harvesting and whole bunch pressing. Malolactic fermentation is done on all base wines as this gives the wine soft, creamy and elegant tones with maturation on the lees.
Wines are blended proportionally to the year’s vintage and quality. Mobile lines do the filtration, stabilization and bottling. The bottled wine is stored in Worcester where they work with the MCC. Riddling is done by hand (turning of the bottles to get the lees in the bottle neck). Then they hire in a mobile disgorgement unit to disgorge the wine. (Process of getting rid of the lees and adding the dosage). Then they wash and label the bottles with a mobile labeling line. All these mobile processes are done by temporary hand labor at least twice a year. The Cellar-hand Wilma and her family and friends helps Melany with all the hand labor processes. The production does not have the need to employ permanent workers so Melanie started working with the local previously disadvantaged individuals in the Worcester Community. She mainly works with ladies as there are plenty of ladies that would like to work part time, which also have a family they need to take care of, so if she plans ahead she can give these girls a temporary job in the times slots that suit them. In this way Melanie tries to make a difference and try to help the local community and uplift these girls. 
This is an ongoing continuous process that happens periodically throughout the year.

Date Founded: 2003
Owner: Melanie van der Merwe
Winery Philosophy: To Produce World Class South African Method Cap Classique Sparkling wine, that dazzles the mind, in the time honoured traditional way.

 

Melanie grew up in the Hex river valley where her late parent farmed with Export table grapes. She fell in love with the grape and vineyards and decided to venture into winemaking as her brothers were the farmers.

She studied BSC Agriculture at Stellenbosch University, worked in France at Louis Roederer Champagne, Moet & Chandon and Pommery in 3 vintages. She Worked at Distillers Corporation as Winemaker from 1994-1998. In 1998 Distillers corporation and Stellenbosch farmers winery merged and formed Distell. She was appointed as Sparkling winemaker of the group. She resigned in 2006 and started her own small sparkling wine production in 2003 which she launched in 2006.

Her Professional career:

1994 – Senior Wine Technologist at Distillers Corporation
1995 - 1998: Senior Sparkling winemaker at Distillers Corporation
The House of JC Le Roux (affiliate of Distillers) opened its doors in Devon Valley in Stellenbosch in September 1998 and from 1998 to 2001 she was appointed as Senior Sparkling wine maker at The House of JC le Roux.
2001-2006: Distillers Corporation and SFW merged and Melanie was appointed as Cellar Manager / Winemaker at the House of JC le Roux / Distell. This involved the management of the Wine cellar and making all sparkling wines for the JC le Roux and Distell group.
8 Million Liter’s carbonated champagne and 1 Million liter’s Cap Classique sparkling wine was made and all the cellar workers fell under her management. During her career at Distell she developed four new Cap Classique style sparkling wines JC Le Roux La Vallée (The first semi sweet MCC to be introduced to the South African Market), JC Le Roux Scintilla & Desiderius (Pongracz)(Two high end Special Cuvee’s made from selected vineyards).
2006 till present: Owns and produces her own Sparkling wine brand called: “Tanzanite”
She only produces Method Cap Classique sparkling wine made in the time honored traditional way.
Melanie specialized in the field of Method Cap Classique sparkling wine (French Champagne method) by working overseas.
She worked and observed the Champagne process during harvests in 1997 and 2002 in the Champagne region of France. She worked closely with the "Chef de Cave’s” at the Champagne houses:
Louis Roederer Champagne - Michel Pansu
Pommery Champagne - Thierry Gasco
Moet & Chandon Champagne - George Blanc
She also visited Sekt cellars in Austria and Germany specializing in making Charmatt (Tank Fermented) sparkling wine.
She was invited by VITEFF in 2009 to present her Method Cap Classique with a few other SA producers at the bi-annual VITEFF congress.

Melanie is married to Wentzel van der Merwe and have two daughters:
Marí van der Merwe (born 2001) and Hané van der Merwe (born 2003)

Awards for wines made during her career:

From 1998 till present:
Veritas: Double Gold for Pongrácz.
Veritas: Double gold for JC Le Roux Pinot Noir, Gold JC le Roux Pinot Noir.
4.5 Star Awards for 4 of her sparkling wines in WINE Magazine.
She won the SAA Cap Classique Trophy for Pongrácz Cap Classique 4 times.
Veritas Double Gold for JC le Roux Chardonnay and Gold for Desiderius.
London Wine Trade Fair: Pongrácz Award for "Best wine in its class"
Nominated: Business Woman of the Year - South Africa. She was awarded as one of the twenty leading Wine makers in South Africa - Melanie van der Merwe
Veritas: JC Le Roux Pinot Noir Rose Gold..
International wine and spirits competition: "Best wine in its class".
Winning Wine Magazine / Amorim Cork Cap Classique Challenge Desiderius 2000 Cap Classique, Desiderius 2001 and Scintilla MCC 2003 in 2006, 2008 and 2012.
Tanzanite:
Gold for Tanzanite MCC at Michelangelo Wine Competition, 4 star Platter’s wine Guide and Wine Magazine MCC challenge (since 2006). From 2015 till present 4.5 stars in Platter. Scored 93 and 90 Points from Tim Atkin British wine master in 2016 and 2018. According to Chef du Cave of Vieuve Cliquot Champagne: “Tanzanite Method Cap Classique is one of the best South African MCC’s on the market …if not the best one tasted.
2015,2016,2017 Tanzanite MCC and Tanzanite Magnum 2007 were in the 5 Star line up tasting for Platter’s Wine Guide.

Melanie received Publicity in:
Oprah Magazine, Wine Magazine, Wynlander, The Civil, Food & Home, Rooi Rose, Die Kat, Finesse
House and Leasure, Landbouweekblad, Leef magazine, TV SABC2. She also acts as speaker at various events.

Winery Production: 1400 / 9L cases
Varietals Produced: 830 cases of Method Cap Classique Brut (Chardonnay/Pinot noir)
580 cases of Method Cap Classique Rose (Pinot noir/Chardonnay)
Winemaker: Melanie van der Merwe

 

The family does not own any vineyards but each year they buy the grapes from these specific farms as it’s the best area for production of Chardonnay and Pinot noir for Method Cap Classique production.

Origin of Grapes: Robertson & Stellenbosch. There is a specific quality and style that‘s created. This can only be obtained by buying in the grapes used for making Tanzanite. The grapes come from Robertson (gives flintiness), Rawsonville (adds a creamy, clean taste) and Stellenbosch (gives longevity and structure). Yields are kept in check through aggressive pruning and suckering.

For the past 15 vintages Melanie has been buying grapes from Robertson as it’s the only area in the Western Cape with chalky soils. This is crucial in MCC production as the base wine made from these soils shows long ageing potential and specific flavors during ageing which is crucial for the Tanzanite style.
Melanie hires cellar space and makes her base wine in the old traditional French way of Hand harvesting and whole bunch pressing. Malolactic fermentation is done on all base wines as this gives the wine soft, creamy and elegant tones with maturation on the lees.
Wines are blended proportionally to the year’s vintage and quality. Mobile lines do the filtration, stabilization and bottling. The bottled wine is stored in Worcester where theywork with the MCC. Riddling is done by hand (turning of the bottles to get the lees in the bottle neck). Then they hire in a mobile degorgement unit to disgorge the wine. (Process of getting rid of the lees and adding the dosage). Then they wash and lable the bottles with a mobile labelling line. All these mobile processes are done by temporary hand labor at least twice a year. Cellar hand Wilma and her family and friends helps Melanie with all the hand labor processes. The production does not have the need to employ permanent workers so Melanie started working with the local previously disadvantaged individuals in the Worcester Community. She mainly works with ladies as there are plenty of ladies that would like to work part time, which also have a family you need to take care of, so if she plans ahead she can give these girls a temporary job in the times slots that suit them. In this way she tries to make a difference and try to help the local community and uplift these girls. 
This is an ongoing continuous process that happens periodically throughout the year.

MISSION: 
Tanzanite MCC is associated with African Sparkle. Inspired by Melanie's birthstone – the rare, beautiful and highly sought after Tanzanite – this singular wine expresses herpassion for creating unique sparkling wines in the time-honored traditional way. She has a quest for perfection and a desire to create wines, which, beyond their splendid taste, attain a perfect balance and provoke emotion. This quest is primarily related to very real factors such as the soil, origin of grapes, harvesting method, blending process and time spent on the lees during ageing. But, when they taste a wine it automatically evokes certain images and feelings. Celebrating your accomplishments and moments of success with generosity and grandeur is Melanie's essential mission. Discover who they are, discover their wines and values. Discover their dedication to making fine MCC that dazzle with the spirit of elegance and accomplishment.

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Tanzanite Brut Rose Method Cap Classique NV

Tanzanite Brut Rose Method Cap Classique is made from 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay.

It begins with a sumptuous and luminous pink appearance. Followed by a delicacy of red fruit aromas. The nose is generous and elegant. Fresh attack followed by a harmonious sensation on the palate. Perfectly balanced in the best Tanzanite Style which combines elegance and flair.

Yearly the grapes are sourced from Robertson. Hand picking of the grapes we do in small 18kg lots and then whole bunch pressing on every 5 Ton of grapes. Yields are around 450-480 liters per ton of grapes. Juice was inoculated with Prise de Mousse yeast for primary fermentation at cool temperatures for 8-10 days. This is followed by Malolactic fermentation on all base wines. The MLF ads depth and complexity to the base wines. With maturation the wine will get soft, creamy and elegant. Secondary fermentation took place in the bottle and wines were left on the lees and tasted every few months to monitor the ageing on the lees. Minimum time spent on the lees 24 months.

It’s the only area in the Western Cape where you will find Chalk in our soil.
The wine is made from selected vineyards. Limited to 6 000 bottles annually.
Age of the vines is around 10-15 years old.

Pairs well with roasted white meat, game, tapas, ham and smoked salmon.

Review:

"Pale pink. Ripe red berries accented by Cointreau show on the nose of this very dry and crisply textured sparkling rosé. It’s mineral and subtly fruit flavored palate is superbly fresh and alluring despite an astringent touch on the finish. It’s a great sparkler for food. A 60/40 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 10-15 year old vines in the Robertson area."
- International Wine Review (Champagnes & Sparkling Wines for the Holidays: The Best of 2018), 91 pts


 91 Points
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Tanzanite Brut Rose Method Cap Classique NV

Tanzanite Brut Rose Method Cap Classique is made from 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay.

It begins with a sumptuous and luminous pink appearance. Followed by a delicacy of red fruit aromas. The nose is generous and elegant. Fresh attack followed by a harmonious sensation on the palate. Perfectly balanced in the best Tanzanite Style which combines elegance and flair.

Yearly the grapes are sourced from Robertson. Hand picking of the grapes we do in small 18kg lots and then whole bunch pressing on every 5 Ton of grapes. Yields are around 450-480 liters per ton of grapes. Juice was inoculated with Prise de Mousse yeast for primary fermentation at cool temperatures for 8-10 days. This is followed by Malolactic fermentation on all base wines. The MLF ads depth and complexity to the base wines. With maturation the wine will get soft, creamy and elegant. Secondary fermentation took place in the bottle and wines were left on the lees and tasted every few months to monitor the ageing on the lees. Minimum time spent on the lees 24 months.

It’s the only area in the Western Cape where you will find Chalk in our soil.
The wine is made from selected vineyards. Limited to 6 000 bottles annually.
Age of the vines is around 10-15 years old.

Pairs well with roasted white meat, game, tapas, ham and smoked salmon.

Review:

"Pale pink. Ripe red berries accented by Cointreau show on the nose of this very dry and crisply textured sparkling rosé. It’s mineral and subtly fruit flavored palate is superbly fresh and alluring despite an astringent touch on the finish. It’s a great sparkler for food. A 60/40 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 10-15 year old vines in the Robertson area."
- International Wine Review (Champagnes & Sparkling Wines for the Holidays: The Best of 2018), 91 pts


 91 Points
Colmant Brut Chardonnay NV

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,… 


Reviews:

"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

"Pale straw with a fine bead and scents of biscuit and lemon zest. The NV Brut is richly flavorful and full, a complete wine with a long finish. Tasted blind, it can easily be mistaken for good quality Champagne. Spends 4 years on the lees; 15% of the base wine is fermented in barrel. Disgorged 9 months ago. A blend of Robertson and Franschhoek grapes from the Colmant vineyard."
- I-WineReview  92 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


 Wine Advocate: 92 International Wine Review: 92 93 Points
Pierre Olivier Brut Vin Mousseux NV

Pierre Olivier Brut Vin Mousseux NV is made from 100% Airen.

A value sparkling brut, made with Airen grapes from around the French/Spanish border (next to the Pyrenees). This is a new Kysela Project.

The bubbles are obtained using the Charmat method, named after Eugene Charmat, where the second fermentation takes places in a large, closed pressurized tank. It is different from the Methode Champanoise as the secondary fermentation doesn't take place in the bottle.

Rebuli Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene Brut Zerogrammi NV

Rebuli Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene Brut Zerogrammi NV  is made from 100% Glera (Known as Prosecco)

Color: Straw yellow with greenish reflections. Compact and durable foam, fine perlage.
Nose: very intense creating the scents of flower, light notes of peach, pear, almond blossom, tarragon and mineral notes.
Taste: dry, smooth and rich in the mouth. Its floral taste recalls acacia flowers. Aromatic and balanced finish

Production Area: Valdobbiadene, Vittorio Veneto
Soil: calcareous, clayey
Grapes: Glera (known as Prosecco) 100%
Harvest: Manual, with selection of the grapes.
Winemaking: destemming of grapes and cooling to 15°C. Soft pressing of the grapes with membrane presses, settling of must, fermentation and controlled temperature (18°C)
Fermentation: italian method with controlled temperature (14-15°C) performed with selected yeats. cold stabilization (4°C) and microfiltration before isobaric bottling. Cycle time about 60 days.

Acidity 6 g / l
PH 3.20
Pressure 5.8 atm

Excellent as an aperitif. It goes well with seafood as well.



Colmant Brut Rose NV

SALE!

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.

Review:

"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

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91
Gambellara Lessini Durello Spumante Brut NV

Color: Soft and bright straw yellow
Bouquet: A citrus fresh fruit bouquet
Taste: Slightly acid, fresh, with green apple hints
Perlage: A fine and persistent perlage

The grapes are collected and transported to the winery in small trailers to prevent the grapes from being squashed, then follows immediate separation of the skins from the stalks purifying of the must and long fermentation at 18 °C.

This is a Charmat method (The secondary fermentation didn't take place in the bottle, but in a vat, which makes it slightly different than the Champenoise method used in Champagne).

To serve with seafood starters, soups, egg dishes, shellfish, seafood and white meat. Very good as aperitif. The perfect match is with the "Baccalà alla Vicentina", the traditional dish of our land.

Review:

This Brut-style fizz with 10g/L residual sugar is made from the ancient Durella grape in the same way as Prosecco, where the second fermentation is in tank, not the bottle. It shows ripe, exotic flavours, a crisp apple bite and a mineral finish. An unusual and appealing aperitif. - Tina Gellie" - Decanter (January 2019), 90 pts"

 90 Points
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