Saltare Method Cap Classique Brut Nature (Previously $20)

SKU #1232465

According to the winery: "Saltare's Brut Nature is a fresh wine perfect on its own anytime during the day and amazing with oysters and other seafood. It spends a minimum of 18 months on the lees and we do not add any sugar or sulphur when it is disgorged. The dates of bottling and disgorgement are printed on each label to give you the exact time the bottle has spent on the lees. The wine has aromas of sliced grapefruit and white flowers introduce the freshness of the wine, accompanied by brioche and biscuity notes. There are fresh lemon, strawberry, gooseberry, lime zest and honey-cake on the palate, with a delicate texture of oyster shells that reflects the chalky origins of the vines. The fine and consistent mousse leads to a complex, refreshing finish. No dosage is added when the wine is disgorged, so it is a naturally dry and zesty sparkling wine. Both the Brut Nature and the Brut Reserve contains 50-60% Chardonnay from Robertson and 40-50% Pinot Noir from the Somerset West region."

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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

South Africa

- Now that it has adopted a multi-racial attitude, and now that the world has embraced its government and its exports, South Africa has become a major wine producer. Unfortunately, South Africa has had a difficult time joining the ranks of competitive winemaking countries. During the anti-apartheid sanctions in the 1980s, South African wine was dealt the huge blow when it was removed from the international market, and for political reasons it was quite difficult for wine producers to market wine to the black majority. Things are finally looking up for the wine industry here, and quality has never been higher. South Africa produces a grape cloned from Pinot Noir and Cinsault, called Pinotage, which is the country's unique varietal. Chenin Blanc (known as Steen) makes up one-third of its vines. Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz are becoming increasingly popular as are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Click for a list of bestselling items from South Africa.