A Babbling Bubbly Brunch

MCC sustainable natural corkamorimcork A Babbling Bubbly Brunch
by Amorim Cork
s were popping all over the place at Reuben’s in Franschhoekfranschhoekcellarwines A Babbling Bubbly Brunch
by franschhoekwines
at brunch today even though the Nederburg Auction only officially kicks off tomorrow. What a year it’s been for SA liquor Colossus Distell with JC Le Roux snatching the laurels in the seventh Amorim MCC Challenge.

js A Babbling Bubbly Brunch

The Amorim accolade is the latest show geegaw heading for Aan-de-Wagenweg and Distell’s head office that makes up with bucolic views on the banks of the scenic Eerste River in Stellenbosch for what it lacks in visitor parking. It follows hot on the heels of Grand d’Ors galore at the Michelangelo International Wine Awards last weekend and an embarrassment of riches at other tourneys earlier in the year. As WINE magazine editor Christian Eedes put it “Distell has now stepped up to the plate to make award winning wine.”

Winner Elunda Basson was a popular victrix, not least among assembled wine hacks who were comp’d branded Moleskine notebooks courtesy of the House of JC Le Roux along with a bottle of the blind tasting’s favourite fizz in the shape of JC Le Roux Pinot Noir Rosé 2006. A pedant may (and surely will) point out that effervescent Elunda only disgorged the winning wine since she only recently transferred from Nederburg to Devon Valley. But it was she who put the Lexus Challenge Shiraz winner in barrel, so the company is in the fortunate position of being able to play musical awards with its winemakers. And Elunda publicly thanked her predecessor who harvested the grapes and made the wine, so that’s all OK.

Christian was also chuffed as the Amorim Challenge coincided with the magazine’s 15th birthday. And with the October edition an envelope bulging 144 pages with no shortage of full page advertisements (at R16 000 a pop) the chill winds of economic reality are clearly diverted by higher forces around his Pinelands paradise. No wonder publisher Heino Gehle was beaming wider than an Alaskan Republican.

As was dapper Amorim SA CEO Joachim Sa for the first fizz featured an Amorim cork while the single bubbly listed as “corked” in the results came with a closure from the competition. Amorim international sales director Christophe Fouquet made the valid point that bubbly is the best bastion for a cork counterattack on any moves to screw caps or plastic synthetics.

He also supplied the best explanation to date for the popularity of outsize bottles of bubbly like Methuselahs (6l) and Nebuchadnezzars (15l): in Russian nightclubs they are used as indoor showers by patrons hot and sweaty after an hour spent grinding and gurning on the dance floor. The only problem is that the goût russe is notoriously a sweet style, so I think I’ll leave the sticky aftereffects to Olga and the oligarchs.