Today’s City Press column focuses on an MCC from Anura which didn’t get a high five from Platter last week. But then none did. WTF?!, I hear you exclaim. Most are powered by Chardonnay, a varietal which got 17 stunnas this year and would have had even more if the guide was not rigged. To quote President-elect Don J Trump.
The sommelier who made our choice was Lloyd Jusa from the (Anglo) Saxon. Above he models Professor Dumbledore’s hat used to assign students to houses at the Hogwarts School of Magic and Wizardry in the Harry Potter franchise.
What house would the hat assign Toxic Tim and Dear Angela to? Slitherin, of course! And the wine lizardTM and bald eagle? Hufflepuff. Such a hat would be very useful for wine degrees dished out at the UCT Business School.
Lloyd was Eat Out magazine’s sommelier of the year for 2016. Wine manager at Douw Steyn’s Saxon boutique hotel in Sandton, Lloyd advises celebrities of the wattage of American Idol presenter Ryan Seacrest on what to drink with culinary creations from the pans of David Higgs and Luke Dale-Roberts, who popped up in the kitchen earlier this year.
When it comes to French fizz, Lloyd plumps for Drappier, made from grapes grown in Urville, in the Champagne region of France, on vines originally planted by the Romans 2000 years ago. The cellars of the champagne house were built in 1152 by Saint Bernard, who also founded Clairvaux Abbey, one of the crown jewels of medieval architecture. This connection between Church and Champagne is a natural one as the stuff was invented by a monk, Dom Perignon, who could taste the angels in the bubbles of his Champagne.
For a local sparkler, Lloyd recommends Anura 2011 Brut. A creamy blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grown on the estate in Paarl plus some grapes trucked in from Robertson. Robertson, the valley of wine and roses, is ground zero for quality Chardonnay in the Cape on account of the limestone soils. Which makes the area suitable for breeding race horses as the calcium from the limestone is good for their bones.
You can almost taste the minerality of these soils in this wine. Bone dry with no sulphur added, it is suitable for those with allergies and is a perfect match for tuna ceviche. A perfect starter enjoyed next to the negative edge swimming pool while watching hadedas foraging for Parktown prawns on the Saxon’s rolling lawns.
Anura is what those Drappier Romans would have called a frog. Which is the rude name by which school children refer to French people. So Lloyd’s choice is totally appropriate.
This bubbly was also the overall winner of the recent Amorim Cap Classique Challenge which this year attracted 115 entries, confirming just how popular sparkling wine has become.
93 wines received gold, silver and bronze medals at the awards lunch at the 12 Apostles Hotel in September. Although eyebrows were raised when the Cape’s three finest bubblies: Cuvee Clive 2009 from Graham Beck, Domaine des Dieux Rose of Sharon Rosé 2009 and the Villiera Monro Brut Prestige Cuvee 2009 only scored bronze.
But then, as with Veritas medals, producers don’t hold back from sticking bronze medals on their bottles as they look like gold ones, in any event.