Thursday, May 8, 2014

8 relevant questions about the Krone Borealis 2010 vintage Brut

Krone Borealis is one of South Africa’s best known brand of MCC (Methode Cap Classique) sparkling wine, highly successful with a significant retail as well as HORECA operations presence.

Motivation behind my questions?

Simple, these will be questions sommeliers and wine service staff will experience on the floor or when conducting tutored MCC’s, Cava’s, Champagne and other sparkling wine tastings / dinner’s, further more experienced diner’s and wine fundis either local or visiting international tourist, who knows and follows South African wines, will want to know the real story about Krone Borealis 2010 vintage Brut and at a time when South African wines internationally are garnering more and more attention and respect, label clarity and precision is THE most significant importance and assurance for consumers and wine buyers alike.

1 - Methode Cap Classique (MCC) is a very dynamic category on local and increasingly international wine lists one of the top 5 selling wine style locally and internationally it is being more and more embraced, there could potentially be serious ramification and potentially damaging brand “MCC” and quality bottle fermented South African sparkling wine with irreversible consequences, over the short to medium term, if not the long term, how will, this situations created by Krone Borealis 2010 vintage Brut be communicated to local and international customers, wine buyers, sommeliers, restaurateur, hoteliers?

2 - If I’m not mistaken, transfer method is not an accepted feature of MCC regulations / legislations? A process use in  the production of 2010 vintage Krone Borealis, then why was it bottle, labelled as “handcrafted” and sealed with a cork stamped with the words “Cap Classique” ?

3 - Transfer method is an accepted means of sparkling wine productions for bottles smaller than 750 ml, e.g 375 ml or 200 or 187 ml it is also used for bottles larger than 1500 ml, however does this legitimately warrant “Methode Cap Classqiue” (MCC) labelling for 750ml bottle?

4 – If we have to believe the various news channel article, relating to the above abd referring to possible bottle explosion during the second fermentation of 2010 Krone Borealis Brut, we must asked ourselves that surely after all these years of MCC productions, Krone production team should by experience know prior to induce a second fermentation which bottle to use as well as the correct proportion mixture of yeast and sugar to create the necessary carbonation level and pressure and use appropriate bottle that can withstand second fermentation pressure in bottle?

5 - Did a similar situation happened in previous vintages of Krone Borealis vintage?

6 - Was the initial bottle use in 2010 vintage from a new supplier, hence being possibly inferior in quality, leading to possible bottle explosion?

7 - Could the initial bottle use was meant for the production of “spumante / carbonated sparkling wine”, which is marginally thinner and withstand lighter pressure? But then again “spumante” type bottle have a different neck and closure lips, which would not have been possible to use crown cork use for second fermentation?

8 - Will the industry, going forward defined a specific MCC bottle grade, able to withstand pressure derived from second fermentation, so as to avoid this happening again in the future?