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South African MCC wins big in Decanter World Wine Awards

Published May 31, 2019


Champagne is great, but so is South Africa's Méthode Cap Classique (MCC).

The preeminent Franschhoek wine farm, Le Lude has received the highest points to date for a South African Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) in London.

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Le Lude, established in 2011 by Nic and Ferda Barrow with the aim of making premium quality bubbly from classic Champagne varieties, specialises in crafting naturally bottle-fermented sparkling wines known as Méthode Cap Classique in South Africa. 

Judges at what is the world’s largest and most influential wine competition, awarded Le Lude’s maiden vintage, the 2012 Vintage Cuvée with 97 points – a platinum award, the highest accolade yet to be bestowed upon a South African MCC. 

The wine, made with 83% chardonnay and 17% pinot noir grapes, were whole bunch pressed with only the cuvee – highest quality free run juice – used in the Vintage blend. It was matured on the lees for 56 months. Only 2361 bottles were released, of which just 60 remain available at the Le Lude tasting room. 

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Le Lude's 2012 Vintage Cuvée

Stablemates Le Lude Rose Brut NV received 90 points (silver) and the Le Lude Reserve Brut NV 88 points (bronze) at the same competition. This translates by Decanter to mean “a very accomplished wine with impressive complexity”, and “a well-made, straightforward and enjoyable wine” respectively. 

Now in its 16th year, the DWWA is trusted internationally for its rigorous judging process. This year 16 500 entries were received.

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Michael Hill Smith, Master of Wine and Co-Chair of the DWWA, said the competition helped producers to raise their profile internationally. “For consumers faced with the prospect of such choice; choosing a bottle with a DWWA sticker on it, particularly a Gold or Platinum should reassure them that the wine has been through a rigorous judging process, against much competition and you can trust the quality.”

Innovation in the cellar and un-comprising pursuit of perfection in the bottle have made Le Lude one of the world’s most exciting new producers of Cap Classique. “Awards such as these show that our pioneering approach is paying off and creating a reputation for wines which are internationally renowned for finesse, elegance and refinement,” said Le Lude’s owners, Nic and Ferda Barrow.

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