Graham Beck | News Article

A tour de force of creative craftsmanship

Introducing Graham Beck’s new Artisan Collection Tier and the release of the Extended Lees Ageing 2009

 

A tour de force of creative craftsmanship

 

Ever the innovators and always the sparkling wine specialists, Graham Beck’s most recent exciting pursuit of the perfect bubble involves the launch of an advanced new tier called the Artisan Collection.

 

This new range represents the ‘playground’ of the winemakers, offering them a blank canvas to reveal their artistic ingenuity and specialised craft. The result is something spectacular, always niche and never the same.

 

“It is all about the winemaking team at Graham Beck that is granted the opportunity when harvest allows, to produce something exceptional in limited quantities as a way to passionately express our aspirational journey,” explains Graham Beck Cellar Master Pieter Ferreira.

 

The first scintillating release from this alluring new collection is the Extended Lees Ageing 2009 Vintage, produced in extremely limited quantities (with only 720 bottles made). Relentless dedication and patience come to mind when speaking about leaving wines for an extended period of time on the lees. The Extended Lees Ageing underwent a very long maturation of 11-years plus on the lees (134 months to be exact) in the coolest parts of the cellar prior to the disgorgement.

 

This process leads to a heady experience where longevity and lusciousness collide in a wonderfully complex encounter. The Extended Lees Ageing delivers the extraordinary vitality of a recently disgorged wine, together with all the exceptional aromas of an old vintage.

 

Protocol dictates that in order to savour the full potential of this Cap Classique, it should ideally be disgorged not too long before being tasted. This custom allows those invited to taste the Extended Lees Ageing to share a perfect moment, when the wine is given the opportunity to offer an unexpected freshness and sumptuous aromatic expression.

 

The 2009 Vintage is a blend of 80% Chardonnay (expertly sourced from prime Robertson fruit) and 20% Pinot Noir (meticulously selected from a premium Stellenbosch vineyard site). It expresses all the hallmarks of a truly outstanding Cap Classique, namely boldness, complexity and greatness.

 

This stellar vintage of the new Millennium is considered the best thus far and bears testimony to the terroir and harvest characteristics that resulted in this effortless union of amazing retained intricacy, deftly balanced with refreshing succulence. The Extended Lees Ageing 2009 was bottled in August 2009 and spent eleven years on the lees, after which it was disgorged at the end October 2020.

 

This inspiring new addition fills a unique and specific niche in the distinguished stable of Graham Beck Cap Classique. Bubbly enthusiasts are in for a treat, as the team intends introducing other exciting limited releases in the Artisan Collection tier in the future.

 

The launch of the Graham Beck Extended Lees Ageing 2009 coincides with the South African Wine Industry commemorating an impressive milestone. With its rich history of over 360 years, this fraternity celebrates the 50th anniversary of its Cap Classique category (the Cape’s famous bottle-fermented sparkling wines) in 2021.

 

The Artisan Collection perfectly encapsulates this voyage of discovery and aptly personifies the Graham Beck motto of Celebrate What Matters.

 

Perfection takes time. But it’s worth the wait.

 

The Graham Beck Extended Lees Ageing will be presented in an elegant gift box and available in limited quantities directly from the estate via the tasting room and online shop at R580 incl VAT per bottle.

For more information visit https://grahambeck.com/collection/extended-lees-ageing

 

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 Tasting notes:

Extended Lees Ageing displays an attractive golden straw hue, with abundant aromas of ripe citrus, peach, apple and toasted almond unfolding in the glass. The generous palate delivers an initial creamy entry of liquorice, sweet spice and lovely yellow stone fruit, followed by layers of butterscotch and fresh brioche. The complex texture, vibrant acidity and well-integrated oak are harmoniously rounded off with a delicate mousse.

 It is a splendidly nuanced and unique Cap Classique which delights with all the heady freshness of a recently disgorged wine and the exceptional complexity of an older vintage. This extraordinary Cap Classique expresses astonishing boldness and brilliance, offering an utterly unique and all-encompassing experience. It is drinking beautifully now with the potential to reward through to 2035.

 

Serving suggestions: To showcase its unique style, we recommend serving Graham Beck Extended Lees Ageing at a temperature of 10°C, then to appreciate the evolution of its aromas over the course of the tasting. To discover the freshness of recent disgorgement, Extended Lees Ageing should be enjoyed shortly after it was disgorged, or you may also choose to allow it to mature further as its potential for ageing is endless.

 

Pairing: As a bone dry extra Brut with only 3.0 grams of residual sugar per liter, Graham Beck Extended Lees Ageing will enhance all great gastronomic moments and will marry perfectly with the most renowned dishes, such as duck cooked pink or roasted scallops. The intensity of the wine also makes it the perfect partner with aged hard cheeses like Gruyère or Comté.

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