White, Ready, but will keep

2010 Alexandra de la Marque Krone, Méthode Cap Classique

2010 Alexandra de la Marque Krone, Méthode Cap Classique

White | Ready, but will keep | Matthew Krone Wines | Code:  38850 | 2010 | Champagne Blend | Medium Bodied, Dry | 12.5 % alcohol

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The Producer

Matthew Krone Wines

Matthew Krone Wines

Twelfth-generation South African winemaker, Matthew Krone, has been producing Méthode Cap Classique (traditional method sparkling wines from South Africa) for 14 years. We were first drawn to his winemaking talent through his work at Foxwood Vineyards, producing utterly delicious Chenin Blanc and Shiraz, but his skill in the sparkling arena is clear with his new, once-in-four-year sparkling project, bearing his (and his daughter’s) name, Alexandra de la Marque Krone. Only 6,000 bottles were made of the first vintage, 2010.

The Grape

Champagne Blend

Champagne Blend

Which grapes are included in the blend, and their proportion, is one of the key factors determining the style of most Champagnes. Three grapes are used - Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.

26% of vineyards in Champagne are planted with Chardonnay and it performs best on the Côtes des Blancs and on the chalk slopes south of Epernay. It is relatively simple to grow, although it buds early and thus is susceptible to spring frosts. It produces lighter, fresher wines than those from Burgundy and gives finesse, fruit and elegance to the final blend. It is the sole grape in Blancs de Blancs, which are some of the richest long-lived Champagnes produced.

Pinot Noir accounts for nearly 40% of the plantings in Champagne and lies at the heart of most blends - it gives Champagne its body, structure, strength and grip. It is planted across Champagne and particularly so in the southern Aube district.

The final component is Pinot Meunier and this constitutes nearly 35% of the plantings. Its durability and resistance to spring frosts make the Marne Valley, a notorious frost pocket, its natural home. It ripens well in poor years and produces a soft, fruity style of wine that is ideal for blending with the more assertive flavours of Pinot Noir. Producers allege that Pinot Meunier lacks ageing potential, but this does not deter Krug from including around 15% of it in their final blends.


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