In a show-stopping moment for the locally produced Méthod Cap Classique, Pongrácz Blanc de Blancs was crowned as the overall champion wine receiving the Vertex Award at the 2018 Veritas Awards held over the weekend.
With a record number of 1 677 entries in total and 50 double gold medals awarded, winemaker Elunda Basson says it’s such an honour for the wine to be singled out as the best on show.
“The years of working towards creating the ultimate MCC paid-off and this recognition is truly the pinnacle of my career. I’m literally on cloud nine! As one of SA’s leading MCC producers we strive for unparallel quality and continuously add innovation to our range. Consumers are now more than ever aware of the exceptional MCC’s that SA can produce and their interest drives us to exceed their expectation each time.”
The Veritas Vertex award for the top wine of the competition takes its name from the Latin vertex, which means ‘highest point’ and a handmade glass trophy, specially designed for the Vertex award winning wine, was presented on the night to Elunda. In addition the flagship Desiderius Pongrácz which spends 60 months in the bottle for secondary fermentation, took double gold.
Blanc de Blancs (meaning “white of whites”) is arguably the most elegant style for Champagne and Méthode Cap Classique. With its beautiful finesse, crisp acidity and racy minerality it’s a joy to sip and very well suited to pairing with food.
The 100% Chardonnay Blanc de Blancs complements Pongrácz’ range made in the traditional French method of allowing secondary fermentation to take place in the bottle.
Lively with bright zesty citrus aromas, the Pongrácz Blanc de Blancs is intensely fruity. The refreshing palate reveals an alluring creaminess, fresh lemon zest and toasty yeast, ending with a vibrant mineral-driven finish.
The grapes were hand-selected from vineyards cooled by maritime breezes and selected for their overall quality and suitability.
Once the base wine was cold fermented and underwent malolactic fermentation, it was racked to clean stainless steel tanks and matured on the fine lees for four months. A small portion of the blend was barrel fermented to enhance the richness and flavour complexity of the final blend.
A slow secondary fermentation in the bottle delivers the delicate mousse, with fine bubbles that linger over a beautifully crisp acidity. During this 36 months maturation, the dead yeast cells accumulates at the bottom of the bottle and contribute to the distinctive brioche, creamy richness associated with an outstanding Méthode Cap Classique. The dead yeast cells (the lees) is then removed by the traditional methods of remuage and degorgement whereby the neck of the bottle is frozen in dry ice and the cells removed whilst still maintain the beautiful bubbles inside.
Pongrácz is inspired by a nobleman and refugee from the Hungarian uprising, Desiderius Pongrácz, whose vision revitalised viticulture in the Cape. He quite literally wrote the book on viticulture and was the author of a number of books and produced numerous scientific publications.
He was a genius for seeing the new in the familiar, finding the unexpected in the traditional and his theories were fresh and provocative – not only on vines and wine, but also music, history and mankind. Pongrácz was witty and brilliant and his inspiration extended across classical music, anthropology and Dachshunds.
Today the range of Pongrácz Méthode Cap Classiques pays tribute to the innovation, sheer genius and life’s work of Desiderius Pongrácz.
Pongrácz Blanc de Blancs is available from www.vinoteque.co.za for R180