South African Chardonnay is a treat, and sparkling South African Chardonnay even more so. Today on Somm Tasting Notes, Sabra Lewis reviews L’Ormarins Blanc de Blancs, a beautiful 100% Chardonnay sparkling wine from Western Cape, South Africa.
As a “new world” wine, South African Chardonnay doesn’t receive the acclaim or recognition that the old world Chardonnay regions of the world do, such as Chablis. Two things are consistent for L’Ormarins Blanc de Blancs, however, from new to old: the grape, and the method. “Blanc de Blancs” is a term you often hear out of Champagne, and it refers to sparkling wine that is made with entirely white grapes, typically Chardonnay. It’s fitting for L’Ormarins to use this phrase, as the method they use is also the Traditional Method, also known as the méthode champenoise.
The result is a sparkling wine that undergoes secondary fermentation in-bottle and is aged on its own lees, developing the bready, “brioche-y” flavors that are often found in Champagne. On today’s episode, Sabra finds those toasty aromas along with hints of white pear. “It’s a bit hedonistic, actually,” says Sabra, and notes on the palate a unique feature of South African wines: salty minerality. One difference between Champagne and the Western Cape is the latter’s proximity to the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; Champagne is considerably more inland. Score one for the new world!
Thanks to Sabra for giving us her Somm Tasting Notes! If you want to try this South African sparkler for yourself, head to Golden Ram Imports’ Where to Buy page to find your nearest retail location. And if you liked this video and love food and wine, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, Like us on Facebook, and Follow us on Instagram. Thanks for watching!