In an era where so many producers view bubbly as a “cash cow” and a must-have because they host celebratory events and “people demand it”, it is refreshing to come across a man who makes bubbly because he has a passion for it. We have far too many MCC’s on the market in South Africa that are made as an after thought with minimum time on the lees and maximum bank account returns.
Paul Gerber not only has a passion for champagne/sparkling wine, he is busy with his Masters’ Degree in a part of the whole process (gas exchange)! It was a pleasure to spend a day in his company, geeking out on wine at the Le Lude Estate in Franschhoek. We were certainly privileged to get a sneak peek before the launch of these special wines.
Le Lude is the first bubbly producer in South Africa to produce a MCC where the second fermentation takes place under cork and not crown cap – we’ve tasted the results in a blind tasting before and the results were staggering: Taking into account that the exact same wine was bottled under the same circumstances, the wine fermented under cork tasted completely different to the wine under crown cap. Both were delicious, yet completely different.
Getting back to the house style of wines currently available from Le Lude; 2 wines are currently available: A Brut Rosé and a Brut, both non-vintage. The wine spent 3 years on the lees and the dosage is very small (around 6g/l). Both wines have an exceptionally fine mousse and the rosé is especially perfumed with beautiful fruit expression.
There are a few other wines in the pipeline, most notably a Prestige Cuvée with 5 years spent on the lees. Good things do come to those who wait.
Don’t forget the magnums! According to Paul, a magnum is the perfect size for bubbly if only one person is drinking… We wholeheartedly agree with Paul, but only if there’s Le Lude in the bottle. These wines are exceptional, made with precision and passion.