A day out in the beautiful Franschhoek valley with gourmet food, a DJ, a cool spot in the garden and a glass of bubbly to top it all off equals the best Valentine’s date ever. If Valentine’s Day were bottled, it would probably be rosé. A rosé MCC, to be exact.
MCC or Methode Cap Classique refers to champagne-style South African sparkling wines – i.e. sparkling wines that were bottle-fermented, as opposed to barrel-fermented. Franschhoek is known for its French heritage and this is most prominent in the high-quality MCCs produced in the valley. The Revving up Rosé festival, hosted at Rickety Bridge, had some of the valley’s best on offer.
Le Lude Reserve Rosé MCC is blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; quite dry with subtle strawberry on the palate. Rickety Bridge’s own brut rosé, a blend of 50/50 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, is still a little young (very recently bottled) and needs to rest another month or so before popping the cork.
There were three standouts on the day. The first was Haute Cabrière’s Pierre Jourdan Belle Rose – a salmon-pink, 100% Pinot Noir MCC. It has a deeper, more complex cherry palate and the colour is simply exquisite. Anthonij Rupert’s L’Ormarins Brut Rosé 2013 is a softer, 85% Pinot Noir MCC with a zesty pomegranate palate. Both of these are relatively dry, so if you prefer something sweeter I would recommend Krone by Twee Jonge Gezellen, situated in the Tulbagh area. Their 2014 60/40 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay Rosé Vintage Cuvée Brut also has the lovely salmon-pink hue generally associated with Pinot Noir-based rosés. The delicious scent of fresh berries and cream on the nose makes it something special, and the palate of red apples with a creamy finish is simply divine.
Festivals like these are meant to be savoured; you spend the day lounging in the shade, sipping your rosé or MCC rosé of choice. Although the in-house restaurant had their á la carte menu on offer, bubbles don’t generally need to be paired with anything; they go with everything. Best to always keep a bottle of your favourite MCC on ice. After all, the difference between dinner and a celebration is simply the popping of a bottle of MCC.
The Revving up Rosé wine festival took place on 13 February 2016 at the Rickety Bridge wine estate, Franschhoek.