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Asara MCC Brut 2014 & Dianne Bibby’s Prosciutto, Strawberry & Feta Salad

1 November 2017  -  Michael Olivier Communications

One of my big missions is to introduce people to a fine MCC as an any time wine. No need to wait for a special occasion or a celebration. Just slot it into a suitable meal, drink it as an aperitif under the pergola at sunset, the sheer joy of drinking bubbles just lifts the mood after a busy day. Asara MCC Brut 2014 is like a fairy with a wand in a Disney film spreading sparkles.

I have watched over the last couple of years, the Chardonnay Vineyard right outside the front door of the Hotel and the wonder at this time of the year is the budding and then the young tendrils reaching up the trellising.  The 15-year-old vineyard faces west and is planted west-east so that there is continual, though indirect, exposure to the sun. The yield is an even-handed 9 tons per hectare.

The grapes for the Asara MCC Brut 2014 are picked when just under-ripe to keep the alcohol levels in the base wine low. Some of the grapes are picked later to add complexity to the final blend. Whole bunch pressed, the first and finest juice is used for the first fermentation. The traditional second fermentation takes place when the wine is bottled and is given a small dose of sugar and yeast. Just over a year on the lees make for extra texture while retaining the crisp freshness. The wine is then degorged, closed with a natural cork closure and the wire muzzle.

It looks like
Packed in the traditional Champagne shaped bottle under natural cork. Elegant simple Asara livery. In the glass, it is a pale golden straw in colour with a profusion of the tiniest bubbles rushing helter-skelter to the meniscus.

It smells like
Under the fizz, notes of Granny Smith apples, citrus and an undertow of marzipan.

It tastes like
Crisp fresh bubbly, citrus notes and flavours of fresh baked brioche, nice and yeasty. A real treat.

It’s good with
Perfect as an aperitif. It also is perfect with food and the usual thoughts go to oysters, prawns, sushi, ceviche. Light vegetarian curries and pickled fish also come to mind. Dianne Bibby’s Prosciutto, Strawberry & Feta Salad is a great match for a delicate summery lunch. Click here for her recipe.

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