Monday, November 25, 2013

Colmant Cap Classique

At the 2013 Amorim Tsogo Sun Cap Classique Challenge, Colmant, a quality sparkling wine specialist located in Franschhoek triumph as one of the strongest performers winning both the best Non Vintage blend with their Colmant Brut Reserve NV, as well as best Non Vintage Blanc de Blancs with their Colmant Chardonnay Brut Reserve NV.

In less than 10 years, Colmant have firmly established as one of South Africa’s cutting edge, Cap Classique sparkling wine producer, they also import a select range of Champagne, competitively priced.

Below is an exclusive interview with founder and owner JP Colmant about this house style, winemaking philosophy, sourcing of the grapes for his range, and what makes his sparkling wine specials, they are certainly worth a visit over the holiday and festive season and their bubblies, should be high on your purchase lists, this summer.

Tell our readers a little more about your winery and how long you have been making wine and why your chosen location to make wine and in particular MCC, what is special about your site?

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.
Explain us your viticultural approach and philosophy, as we all know, it’s all starts in the dirt to make very good to great wines?

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 Franschhoek, all areas recognized to be the most suitable places to produce Pinot Noir combining body and finesse.

MCC’s will never be Champagne, however the quality are of a very high standards and represents some of the very best value bottle sparkling wine in the world, tell us more about the climate and soil your grapes come from?

The combination of the 3 regions (Franschhoek / Elgin / Roberston) is the winner.  Blending is the art of making quality bubbly…

How long you have been making MCC?

First production started in 2006. First release in 2008

How many styles of MCC’s you produce under your brand?

We produce 5 different bottles :
-       Brut Reserve NV (PN/CH blend – ageing 30 months min.)
-       Brut Rose NV (PN/CH blend – ageing 24 months min.)
-       Brut Chardonnay NV (100% CH – ageing 45 months)
-       Sec Reserve (PN/CH blend – ageing 24 months min.)
-       Brut Plaisir (PN/CH blend – ageing 12 months)

Tell us more about your winning MCC and it’s winemaking process as well as the percentage blends if any making the final wine?

Colmant Brut Reserve NV: Pinot Noir 52%, Chardonnay 48% (Franschhoek, Robertson and Elgin).
20% of the blend is made of reserve wine from the previous vintages and 10% of the base wine is barrel fermented.
This wine spends a minimum of 30 months on the lees at a consistent temperature of 14C before degorgement.

Colmant Brut Chardonnay NV: Chardonnay 100% (Franschhoek and Robertson).
15% of the base wine has been barrel fermented.
This wine spends a minimum of 45 months on the lees at a consistent temperature of 14C before degorgement.

What is your view on Reserve wine added prior to dosage, what would be your average percentage, if any use in your house style?

Our Brut Reserve, two thirds of our production has about 10 % Reserve wine.
We believe it is necessary to add some reserve for our style of wine.
For our grapes and style our non-vintage wines make for a better wine than a vintage wine would.

What MCC style are your aiming for?

Precise, clean and delicate, with ample structure and complexity.

With the new emerging market locally preferring wines with higher residual sugar, what is your philosophy on dosage and where do you draw the line?

We have just released a new Colmant MCC made in the Sec style. With a slightly higher dosage in some wines we can reach a wider market.
One has to be careful to get the dosage balanced with the acidity and other factors in the wine.

How many approximately bottles do you produce per each style?

Colmant Brut Reserve : 27 000 bottles
Colmant Brut Chardonnay : 5000 bottles
Colmant Brut Rose : 8000 bottles

Countries exported?

Belgium, USA, Germany, Mauritius, Namibia, Czech Republic, Reunion Island

Where can your MCC be found to be purchased and enjoy?

With free delivery country wide for 12 bottles most people buy directly from the farm.
Most boutique wine stores stock the wine with some restaurants as well.

Your favorite food pairings or recommendation to be enjoyed with your winning MCC?

Colmant Brut Reserve: Divine as an aperitif, it also goes perfectly with oysters, sushi or any delicate seafood.

Colmant Brut Chardonnay: Ideal with pan fried scallops or line fish "au beurre blanc", it is also the oyster's best friend and will enhance the flavours of parmesan, asparagus, artichokes, parma ham,…

What is the average selling of your MCC’s, cellar door ?

Colmant Brut Reserve: R130

Colmant Brut Chardonnay: R175

Thank you