When it comes to winemaking, Cap Classique is not your standard bottle of wine. For winemakers up to the task, crafting a Cap Classique shifts into the territory of a magnum opus, a bona fide obsession that requires earlier harvesting, techniques like manual bottle ‘riddling’, and above all, flutes-full of patience. Put simply, it’s not for everyone. But when done well, the output easily surpasses the additional input. Case in hand, Spier’s latest release: 2016 Prestige Cuvée.
Launched with the 2013 vintage and followed on by the 2015, the 2016 marks only the third time this Cap Classique has been made. Produced only from outstanding lots, the grapes for the 2016 Prestige Cuvée were harvested during one of the worst drought periods the Western Cape has ever faced.The 2016 vintage marks just the third time Spier has produced its Prestige Cuvée Cap Classique sparkling wine.
First launched in 2013 and again in 2015, this rare cap classique is only made in outstanding vintages. The 2016 vintage was one of the worst droughts the Western Cape region has ever faced; yet while the water table was low, the grape quality was exceptional. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes reached unparalleled concentration and complexity due to the dry weather and moderate temperatures. Exclusively handpicked and hand-sorted, the whole bunches were delicately pressed upon reaching the cellar, with the free-run juice from each varietal fermented separately in stainless steel tanks and 10% in 400L French oak barrels. From there, the clock started ticking as secondary fermentation and maturation lasted eight years on the lees prior to disgorgement.
While the world grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic, witnessed global protests, social movements, and the introduction of AI en masse, this traditional bottle-fermented sparkling wine waited in the cool corners of the cellar. Now, in February 2024, the 2016 Prestige Cuvée has finally matured to perfection and is ready to meet the world.
“We've been waiting eight years for this,” shares Spier Cellar Master Johan Jordaan. “But let me tell you, those eight years were worth every second. The cuvée’s prolonged contact with the lees has imbued it with an extraordinary depth of character and a complexity that only time can bestow.” According to Johan, by delaying disgorgement, the extensive ageing process transformed the wine, enriching it with a creamy texture and layers of nuanced flavours ranging from crisp red apple and citrus to brioche and stewed fruits.
Crafted to capture an ethereal moment in time and place, the Prestige Cuvée showcases Spier’s broad spectrum of winemaking skills. “In an era where instant gratification is king, this Cap Classique invites you to slow down and savour the moment. It’s not just about when you drink it, but more importantly, the company you’re with and the quality of the time you’re enjoying. If you ask me, that’s the perfect pairing,” reflects Johan.
As Spier’s finest Cap Classique, the Prestige Cuvée is crafted in limited quantities. For those curious to taste, Spier invites you to book the Prestige Cuvée Harvest Tasting, currently available at the Tasting Room until the end of February. Featuring a glass of the Cuvée, it is thoughtfully paired with freshly baked VADAS ‘mosbolletjies’ fermented with grape must of this year’s harvest.
No, when it comes to winemaking, Cap Classique is definitely not your standard bottle of wine. It's passion, it's detail, and it’s unwavering dedication, all poured into a heavy-set glass bottle that withstands more than roughly two to three times the pressure in a car tyre. Eight years in the making, the Prestige Cuvée has waited long enough. So the only question is: What are you waiting for?
Visit the Spier website to reserve your spot for R110 per person
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