In the past few weeks, a couple of categories of Cape wine have really caught my attention. One is unwooded chardonnay, which appears to be booming — perhaps as a result of a little ennui with sauvignon blanc. The other is Cap Classique (MCC), where volumes have been growing for some time, as have the number of producers. Bottle-fermented fizz must be made in accordance with the rules established in Champagne for Champagne: wines must derive their bubble from a second fermentation in the bottle in which it is sold, and not from carbonation. This makes them more labour and capital-intensive than most other wine styles. All the product must be purchased and financed in advance. Bear in mind that ageing for MCCs is probably as long as for most red wines. Fizz also attracts a higher excise duty. Taking all this into account, many are real bargains. Graham Beck’s Pieter Ferreira points out that the bubble serves to magnify everything, including the faults, making it impossible to conceal...

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