Graham Beck Methode Cap Classique Brut Rose 2011
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
In their pursuit of the perfect bubble, Graham Beck consistently raises the bar in terms of quality and distinction and has firmly established themselves as one of the world’s leading sparkling wine brands, devoted to quality and consistency. Since the launch of their maiden Méthode Cap Classique in 1991 these sought after, much lauded sparkling wines have not only been the celebratory toasts of international icons such as Mandela and Obama, but also garnered some of the industry’s most prestigious global accolades.
Situated in the breathtaking Robertson Wine Valley (located a mere 140km from Cape Town in South Africa’s spectacular Western Cape Winelands), Graham Beck focuses on minimal intervention, allowing the authentic essence of the fruit and terroir to shine through. The unique climate of the region, combined with the rich limestone soils, produce wines which have become popular across the globe for their authenticity, versatility and elegance. At their state-of-the-art Cap Classique cellar the team crafts a range of internationally acclaimed Méthode Champenoise style wines, widely regarded as benchmarks in the industry. This ethos, instigated by the late founder and mentor Graham Beck, propelled this family orientated brand to become one of South Africa’s leading and best loved cellars as well as an internationally recognized and lauded wine entity. Over the years Graham Beck has invested an extraordinary amount of effort and time into refining their focus and meticulously fine-tuning the selection of clones and sites, as well as optimising vineyard and cellar practices.
Their prestigious bubbly portfolio demonstrates an unwavering dedication to the creation of bottle fermented sparkling wines which define class, finesse and timelessness and the passion for the job at hand shines through in every bottle, every sip and each tiny bubble.
With an important wine renaissance in full swing, impressive red and white bargains abound in South Africa. The country has a particularly long and rich history with winemaking, especially considering its status as part of the “New World.” In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century.
Today, however, South Africa is increasingly responsible for high-demand, high-quality wines—a blessing to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot. But the Benguela Current from Antarctica provides brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening of grapes. Similarly, cooler, high-elevation vineyard sites throughout South Africa offer similar, favorable growing conditions.
South Africa’s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for red-fruit-driven, spicy, earthy reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following close behind.
What are the different types of sparkling rosé wine?
Rosé sparkling wines like Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and others make a fun and festive alternative to regular bubbles—but don’t snub these as not as important as their clear counterparts. Rosé Champagnes (i.e., those coming from the Champagne region of France) are made in the same basic way as regular Champagne, from the same grapes and the same region. Most other regions where sparkling wine is produced, and where red grape varieties also grow, also make a rosé version.
How is sparkling rosé wine made?
There are two main methods to make rosé sparkling wine. Typically, either white wine is blended with red wine to make a rosé base wine, or only red grapes are used but spend a short period of time on their skins (maceration) to make rosé colored juice before pressing and fermentation. In either case the base wine goes through a second fermentation (the one that makes the bubbles) through any of the various sparkling wine making methods.
What gives rosé Champagne and sparkling wine their color and bubbles?
The bubbles in sparkling wine are formed when the base wine undergoes a secondary fermentation, which traps carbon dioxide inside the bottle or fermentation vessel. During this stage, the yeast cells can absorb some of the wine’s color but for the most part, the pink hue remains.
How do you serve rosé sparkling wine?
Treat rosé sparkling wine as you would treat any Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and other sparkling wine of comparable quality. For storing in any long-term sense, these should be kept at cellar temperature, about 55F. For serving, cool to about 40F to 50F. As for drinking, the best glasses have a stem and a flute or tulip shape to allow the bead (bubbles) and beautiful rosé hue to show.
How long do rosé Champagne and sparkling wine last?
Most rosé versions of Prosecco, Champagne, Cava or others around the “$20 and under” price point are intended for early consumption. Those made using the traditional method with extended cellar time before release (e.g., Champagne or Crémant) can typically improve with age. If you are unsure, definitely consult a wine professional for guidance.