2010 Cap Classique Challenge

The other day I attended the awards ceremony for the 2010 Cap Classique Challenge, sponsored by Wine magazine and Amorim (they make corks). Amorim is a very appropriate sponsor because even if all wine bottles move to screw cap closures, nobody would allow that to happen to champagne (or cap classique). The sound of the cork popping is half the joy of drinking champagne.

The awards were held over lunch at Waterkloof restaurant, one of my favourites. The food was excellent again, and it’s impossible to grow tired of those views.

The competition, now in its ninth year, was judged blind by a panel of five, including two international judges. Blind judged competitions always have more credibility as far as I am concerned. Seeing the labels always affects a person’s perception of the wine.

Wines were judged in four categories, namely Non-Vintage, Vintage, Blanc de Blancs and Rosé. The award for Best Overall went to Bon Courage Jacques Bruére Blanc de Blancs 2007. The Best Non-Vintage award went to Pongrácz Brut, Best Rosé went Pongrácz Rosé and Best Vintage went to Kumkani Infiniti Brut 2004.

I was a little surprised about the Pongrácz (made by JC Le Roux) but I believe it is the first vintage under the new winemaker so I’ll reserve my opinion until I’ve tried it.

If you’re a cap classique fan, you’ll be pleased to learn that there is an opportunity to taste the top ten entries in this year’s Cap Classique Challenge. The seated tasting will be presented at the Mount Nelson hotel on the 14th of October. Tickets cost R150 per person (Wine magazine subscribers pay R130) and can be booked by calling 0860 100 205 or by sending an email to subs@ramsaymedia.co.za