SUPERNOVA: METHODE ANCESTRALEThis method is exactly as it is named – an ancestral way of making `champagne’ which existed in France 200 years ago. Apropos this history, Charlie Grosman a young French champagne maker happened to volunteer here while we were making SUPERNOVA. `Encroyable!’ he exclaimed, waving his hands in great perplexity `What for you making such methode? We have come far ago from this 200 years’
|Clockwise from left: 1) Charlie Grosman making Supernova; 2) Corking professionally done; 3) Disgorging process.|
WHAT IS METHODE, ANCESTRALE?
MA is neither a SPARKLING WINE nor a CAP CLASSIQUE (MCC). The first is a carbonated wine while the second involves making a base wine to which sugar and yeast are added. This provokes a second fermentation in bottle producing bubbles and extra alcohol. The process can be controlled by how much sugar and yeast are added.
Methode Ancestrale, unlike MCC adds nothing to the fermentation in the bottle using only its own sugars and wild yeasts. This makes the process more difficult to control as evidenced by the explosion in our cellar which lost us 10% of our bubbly.
For both MCC and MA the next steps in the process, called riddling and disgorgement, are quite ingenious. After fermentation has ended the bottles are set on the slant and rotated over a period of weeks. The sediment of resultant dead yeast ends up in the neck of the bottle which is then frozen. Now the cap is removed and the sediment explodes out of the bottle. The bottles are topped up and corked. These last processes are done professionally off the farm (yes to minimize explosions).
Despite the fact that this method makes bubbly expensive to make, it fulfils Johan’s winemaking ethos of minimal interference and his joy in producing a wine which expresses a particular time and a place.
He is already plotting to increase the quantity fourfold over the next years so that he can leave the bottles `on the lees’ (sediment) for as much as three years - which he says will add flavour and depth.
This year we made 660 bottles of Supernova.
|Clockwise form top left: 1) Toasting Supernova; 2) Dido and Marna toasting Supernova; 3) Dido, Sheri (winemkaer), Shiraz Limbada and Johan toast Capella|
From time to time we have made an unnamed Chenin. This year we made 1000 bottles and named it CAPELLA Cappella is an easy drinking white which tastes of pears, apple and stone fruits against a slight warm woodiness which comes from 10% light wood in the Chenin Blanc.
BUYING OUR WINES
If you would like to order any of our wines, costs are as follows. We deliver free of charge in the CT area.
Capella (Chenin)* R60 bottle R320/6 bottles
Cosmos 2014 (Pinotage Rose) R60 bottle R320/6 bottles
Jack’s Red 2008 (Cape red blend) R80 bottle R430/6 bottles
Sangiovese 2009 (Red) R160 bottle R860/6 bottles
Sangiovese 2013 (Red) R100 bottle R480/6 bottles bottles
Supernova 2014 (Methode Ancestrale)* R180 bottle R900/6 bottles
Galaxy, Mourvedre and Port are out of stock
* Awaiting certification
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