B Vintners, Methode Ancestrale, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2022
B Vintners is a joint venture between Bruwer Raats, owner and winemaker of Raats Family Wines and his cousin, Gavin Bruwer Slabbert, who joined Bruwer as winemaker and viticulturist in 2009.
B Vintners focus on creating a small collection of single vineyard, hand-crafted wines; the first being the Muscat d’ Alexandria 2014 from a tiny vineyard in Helderberg. Minimal intervention, with an organic attitude towards the winemaking results in wines that are textural and complex.
This is not just your standard partnership. Instead of owning their own vineyards, the B’s (Bruwer & Bruwer) source grapes from different locations best suited to each variety, opting to create working relationships with similar minded people in the industry who believe in their avant-garde winemaking approach.
All grapes are handpicked into small 18kg boxes that are then stored overnight in a refrigerated cooler at 4 degree Celsius. The following morning whole bunches are loaded into into the press and the juice is extracted and allowed to naturally settle in tank for 24 to 48 hours at 10 degree Celsius. The clear juice is then racked to the fermentation vessel, where spontaneous fermentation takes place at about 14 degree Celsius. When the sugar level in the wine reaches the correct level, the wine is coarse-filtered and then bottled, using a crown cap as closure. The final stage of fermentation then takes place in bottle at 18 degree Celsius. The whole fermentation process takes about 8 months to complete. The wine is never disgorged, so there is a light sedimentation that occurs in the bottle, and there is never any sulphur added to the juice or wine in the production process.
No oak ageing
This sparkling wine was made using the oldest method, dating back to the 15th century, Methode Ancestrale. Never disgorged, no added sulphites in the wine, and minimal intervention allows for maximum character. Pomegranate, fynbos and the most delicate of brioche on the nose, with a mouth-filling bubble burst.
Best as an aperitif or with fresh fish dishes, including ceviche.
Other sparkling wine
6 x 75cl
Award: Tim Atkin South Africa Report 2022 92 Points