The Graham Beck Brut Rosé is a blend of 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay sourced from Estate and contracted vineyards in the Western Cape growing region of South Africa. Graham Beck has been producing Sparkling wine, which they call Cape Classique, since 1983. They produce and cellar this Bubbly at their Estate.
This is a non-vintage Bubbly made from grapes from different sections of the Western Cape and using multiple grape clones. The vineyards were planted in soil over a limestone foundation which is the same as the vineyards in Champagne, France.
The Graham Beck Brut Rosé is a non-vintage Bubbly which is made by blending Bubbly from several recent vintages to preserve the “house style”. A non-vintage Bubbly should taste the same or as close to the same as they can make it year after year.
This Sparkling wine is produced with the same method used for Champagne, which is where the 2nd fermentation, which adds the bubbles, occurs inside each bottle. In Champagne, the 2nd fermentation must last a minimum of 18 months. Graham Beck does not detail the length of the 2nd fermentation for the Graham Beck Brut Rosé, just saying it lasts a long time. Their top-end vintage Bubbly has the 2nd fermentation of 50 months.
They used whole bunch pressing of the grapes which means stems and all went into the press. Modern equipment does a good job of gently removing the stems, but whole bunch is the old-school way of making wine and is often associated with Pinot Noir.
The Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir were fermented separately and then blended before being bottled for the second fermentation process. The Graham Beck Brut Rosé is a Sparkling wine you should be able to find during the holidays for under $20, I found it at $17.99. This is a quality Bubbly made to exacting specifications.
Champagne is expensive in no small part due to one acre of the vineyard is worth $1,000,000, and it is almost impossible to produce value-priced Bubbly with a set cost like that. Land in South Africa is far less expensive and their excellent Sparkling wines can reflect the lower costs. The alcohol content is 12.02%.
The Graham Beck Brut Rosé Tasting Notes
The color is pale pink with a hint of amber. The nose is red berries, lemon/lime, yeasty bread, apple, and a hint of stone fruit. The Graham Beck Brut Rosé has excellent acidity and engages your palate with interesting textures and flavors.
This Bubbly tastes like sour cherry mixed with not-sweet lemon hard candy and juicy peach, light spice, and raspberry. The mid-palate shows that nutty/salty on-lees sensation, a little bakery bread, and tart red apple juice.
The acidity is in charge here, it is balanced, but it allows the flavors to roll on and on while setting your palate up for the next sip. The acidity here is a multi-tasker.
- The Graham Beck Brut Rosé is an excellent Bubbly. You do not need to pay Champagne prices to get Champagne quality.