Graham Beck, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Methode Cap Classique, Brut, WO Western Cape, South Africa, disgorged March 2015, NV
This wine: a blend of chardonnay and pinot noir, bottle fermented, lees ageing over 15-18 months, mushroom cork closure, 12% abv, widely available, ~£12 (2016)
Consumer tasting note: made in the same way as champagne and cava, refreshing but not demanding acidity-wise, with a pleasant toasty orchard fruit nose and bouquet, not complex, but with decent flavour intensity and length.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, pale intensity gold, showing tears and small bubbles.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of toast and digestive biscuit, apple puree, green pear, gorse flower (delicate coconut-like), a spicy hint.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, a medium (-) body, medium alcohol, medium intensity, with flavours of warm toast, baked apple, warm hay, and hints of coconut and ginger. A medium (+) toasty length with a creamy mousse and a long persistence, and a very low-key grip.
Quality: a good quality wine, decent acidity balances alcohol and flavour intensity; decent intensity, but lacks complexity, modest flavour concentration, following into a modest length.
Readiness for drinking/ageing potential: drink now, not suitable for further ageing – will hold for a year or so but has neither the concentration nor indicative length, nor complexity, to suggest potential for improvement.