Ashbourne Pinotage 2018

Graham Beck Wines spread the love with their hashtag #celebratewhatmatters


Despite several alcohol bans in South Africa since 2020, – Graham Beck Wines remained positive and spread the love with their hashtag #celebratewhatmatters.

And that is exactly what we encourage you to do when you open a bottle of Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs 2017.

It takes courage to specialise in one style of wine in an ever-changing consumer market. And, to do this successfully, in this case with Méthode Cap Classique, you have to persistently nurture the golden thread of excellence that runs through everything you do. This leaves little room for error, and a little bubble will act as a magnifying glass calling you out for any mistakes. Only meticulous attention to detail will be your saving grace, and this is what earned Graham Beck its reputation for superior elegance, quality, sophistication, and world-class appeal. Not if you choose, but rather when Graham Beck becomes one of your go-to brands, you will taste their cellar master Pieter Ferreira’s motto “in pursuit of the perfect bubble” in every wine.

Foremost specialist Cap Classique producers

Cellarmaster Pieter Ferreira has been at the helm of every vintage since the inception of this brand over three decades ago. Today Graham Beck is one of the foremost specialist Cap Classique producers in South Africa. 

Rich limestone soils are a signature terroir trait

Graham Beck focuses on minimal intervention. Like the Champagne in France, the rich limestone soils are a signature terroir trait of the Robertson Valley, ensuring a low pH and natural acidity in the wine.

Best Bottle Fermented Sparkling Wine in World

The Blanc de Blancs 2009 won the IWSC trophy for the Best Bottle Fermented Sparkling Wine in World and stayed on this trajectory with succeeding vintages. Most recently, 2016 received several accolades at the National Wine Challenge Top 100 as MCC of The Year, the Grand Cru National Champion Best in Class, and awarded Double Platinum.

The Graham Beck Society is South Africa’s most exclusive club for those who relish all things bubbly. Membership of this prestigious society entitles you to a wide range of treats and scintillating savings on the Graham Beck range of award-winning Cap Classique bubblies. It includes complimentary tastings at the Robertson estate, sneak previews of new releases, bespoke invitations, and exclusive member-only competitions. 

Please note Graham Beck offers FREE delivery for all orders placed in July; a perfect opportunity to become a member of the Graham Beck Society – NO fees and NO minimum orders, only a WORLD of benefits.


  • Cooking fish over open flames will add an intense smokiness. We are dealing with a wine that spent four years on the lees and therefore has the equal intensity and weight to create a gastronomic experience from what seems like simple ingredients.
  • It took 48 months for the wine to taste this good, so beware of raw peppers that can easily overshadow its delicate nuances. However, their similarities are enhanced when the peppers are gently chargrilled, adding a sweet-and-tangy taste. 
  • Should you wish to add a little heat, the effervescence in the wine will add a soft mouthfeel and contribute to the overall texture of the dish.
  • Cap Classique of this quality doesn’t need food to complete the experience, so make sure you don’t overpower the fish with unnecessary spice. Be judicious with the use of parsley and dill to nudge the minerality and earthiness. Add a squeeze of lemon for a perceived sweetness and even fleshiness in this dry wine.
  • Finish the dish with a food drizzle of olive oil as the contrasting fattiness will balance the acidity of the wine, rendering it even more enjoyable.

Our Experience

We are particularly loyal to Graham Beck, and there are several reasons for this. Firstly, seeing this brand grow from strength to strength, making significant and sometimes difficult decisions to move the brand forward has always proved their ingenuity when it comes to business. Despite the risk involved, their tenacity of chasing quality pays off. Secondly, we admire their attention to detail. No stone is ever left unturned when we attend a launch or follow a campaign introducing a new product or vintage to the public. Everything is done with class and finesse, putting their loyal followers first yet never sitting on their laurels in winning over the hearts of new followers. And thirdly, albeit they make it seem so easy, consistent research goes into crafting world-class products, benchmarking themselves against the best, and being innovative and resourceful enough to stay on-trend.


Rain or sunshine, we love cooking fresh whole fish over the fire. Ensure the fish was not frozen so that the flesh is still plump and solid enough to cook it uncovered without breaking up. Stick to salt and pepper and herbs from your garden and take out the most delicate stemware to enjoy the experience. The fire guarantees a warm ambiance and minimal cooking intervention honours the integrity of the fish. 

We believe this dish would resonate with the Graham Beck philosophy, and we were ecstatic about the outcome of the pairing. The art of this combination is to do as little as possible. You have the pleasure of two exceptional ingredients that is fresh fish and Blanc de Blancs. All you need to do is guide the experience with subtle Mediterranean flavours to make the wine shine.


Please note you only have about 30 minutes before the fish will beg to come off the grill, so use this time wisely to indulge in the wine on its own. Blanc de Blancs we not meant to be overly aromatic. The magic lies in the subtleties and that vibrant acidity that raises everything to the next level. Although this wine spent four years on the lees, it has fresh primary aromas of lemon zest, crunchy yellow apples, and wild sour figs. Anticipating the smoky notes from the fish, blended with the natural salinity from the sea, you can almost smell the ocean in the wine. Enjoy that savoury-kelp note that carries through on the palate, imparting a similar saltiness to marry with the fish. 

Tasting this wine blind, that clean smell and taste of rain-on-chalk can easily lead you to Champagne. Why? Because apart from the expert focus on sparkling wines, Graham Beck has also tapped into the benefits of the soil here, explains Pieter Ferreira.


“Robertson has plenty of sunshine and is regarded as the area having the richest natural limestone deposits in the Western Cape. Limestone ensures a low pH and natural acidity, perfect for crafting Cap Classique. We also have seven different Chardonnay clones contributing to the characteristics of the base wine.”

Winemaker Pierre de Klerk echoes this: “This unique soil allows the vine roots to dig freely and deeply, with the ability to hold moisture, while at the same time allowing any excess to drain away. The soil temperature also remains constant throughout the year, and the limestone imparts that particular mineral flavour that makes Graham Beck so sought-after.


With this in mind, you will love how delicate nuances of chamomile, mace, and marzipan weaves through the wine, trailed by notes of focaccia dough sprinkled with rosemary and salt flakes just before it goes into the oven. 

Ripe citrus fruit, freshly sliced nectarine wedges, and buttery, yeasty notes add a rounded weight to the palate when you finally enjoy it with the fish. The beauty of Cap Classique is then how the fine mousse or persistence of the bubbles completes the experience, adding that extra texture and leaving your palate feeling refreshed and satisfied.

Trust us on this and trust the wine – this is an unadulterated marriage of flavour that will impress anyone who appreciates the simplicity of great ingredients.


  1. Georgio was a little intimidated by this wine as a sommelier – no ingredient made it quiver in its boots. If anything – it tossed the boots and donned its stilettos!

See it for yourself

Gallery of our experience.
All images copyright Samarie Smith and/or the featured estate.

To have your wine featured and reviewed, please contact us.


Samarie +27 82 072 5451

Georgio +27 83 326 3016