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Press Release

Desiderius Pongrácz crowned Best Brut in SA!

September 2019

 Desiderius Pongrácz vintage 2011 has been awarded the highest accolade with a double gold and as the Best Brut overall at the 2019 Amorim Cap Classique Challenge.

South Africa’s benchmark competition for premium MCC’s, the Amorim competition drew 134 entries and recognises outstanding naturally-fermented sparkling wines, known as Méthode Cap Classique in South Africa.

In the same week, the Pongrácz Blanc de Blanc received the highest score of 97 at the International Wine and Spirits Competition, doubling the celebration for Pongrácz ambassador and protégé winemaker Andiswa Mapheleba.

“I have only recently joined Pongrácz and I am so honoured to be part of the team crafting such noble Méthod Cap Classiques. These two awards create awareness amongst consumers to appreciate the value of locally produced wines and their exceptional quality which is on par with the finest Champagnes.”

Spending minimum 60 months in the bottle for a slow secondary fermentation, the ultra-premium Desiderius Pongrácz 2011, is gracious, elegant and timeless. The MCC, made in the time-honoured French tradition, is a blend of Chardonnay (70%) and Pinot Noir (30%) grapes hand-picked from two selected vineyard blocks. Beautiful, elegant bubbles and brioche-like taste fills the mouth with a rich and complex combination of fresh fruit, almonds and buttery bread.

The 100% Chardonnay Pongrácz Blanc de Blanc – which was also singled out as the best on show at the 2018 Veritas Wine Awards with the Vertex Award – has a beautiful finesse, crisp acidity and racy minerality.

A slow secondary fermentation in the bottle delivers the delicate mousse, with fine bubbles that linger over a beautifully crisp acidity. During this 36-month maturation the dead yeast cells accumulates at the bottom of the bottle and contribute to the distinctive brioche, creamy richness associated with an outstanding Méthode Cap Classique. As with the Desiderius Pongrácz 2011, the dead yeast cells (the lees) is then removed by the traditional methods of remuage and degorgement whereby the neck of the bottle is frozen in dry ice and the cells removed whilst still maintain the beautiful bubbles inside.

Lively with bright zesty citrus aromas, the Pongrácz Blanc de Blancs is intensely fruity. The refreshing palate reveals an alluring creaminess, fresh lemon zest and toasty yeast, ending with a vibrant mineral-driven finish.

Pongrácz is named after the nobleman and Hungarian refugee, Desiderius Pongrácz, who had a profound impact on viticulture in the Western Cape. Considered a genius for finding the unexpected in the traditional and fresh, unconventional theories, Pongrácz was witty and brilliant and his inspiration extended across the wine industry, classical music, anthropology and Dachshunds.

The Desiderius Pongrácz 2011, is available from fine wine merchants and www.vinoteque.co.za, retailing for R500 whilst the Pongrácz Blanc de Blanc is only available from the Vinoteque for R190 a bottle.

Pongrácz Blanc de Blancs Awarded overall champion at Veritas 2018

October 2018

In a show-stopping moment for the locally produced Méthod Cap Classique, Pongrácz Blanc de Blancs was crowned as the overall champion wine receiving the Vertex Award at the 2018 Veritas Wine Awards held over the weekend.

With a record number of 1 677 entries in total and 50 double gold medals awarded, winemaker Elunda Basson says it’s such an honour for the wine to be singled out as the best on show.

“The years of working towards creating the ultimate MCC paid-off and this recognition is truly the pinnacle of my career. I’m literally on cloud nine! As one of SA’s leading MCC producers we strive for unparallel quality and continuously add innovation to our range. Consumers are now more than ever aware of the exceptional MCC’s that SA can produce and their interest drives us to exceed their expectation each time.”

The Veritas Vertex award for the top wine of the competition takes its name from the Latin vertex, which means ‘highest point’ and a handmade glass trophy, specially designed for the Vertex award winning wine, was presented on the night to Elunda. In addition the flagship Desiderius Pongrácz which spends 60 months in the bottle for secondary fermentation, took double gold.

Blanc de Blancs (meaning “white of whites”) is arguably the most elegant style for Champagne and Méthode Cap Classique. With its beautiful finesse, crisp acidity and racy minerality it’s a joy to sip and very well suited to pairing with food.

The 100% Chardonnay Blanc de Blancs complements  Pongrácz’ range made in the traditional French method of allowing secondary fermentation to take place in the bottle.

Lively with bright zesty citrus aromas, the Pongrácz Blanc de Blancs is intensely fruity. The refreshing palate reveals an alluring creaminess, fresh lemon zest and toasty yeast, ending with a vibrant mineral-driven finish.

The grapes were hand-selected from vineyards cooled by maritime breezes and selected for their overall quality and suitability.

Once the base wine was cold fermented and underwent malolactic fermentation, it was racked to clean stainless steel tanks and matured on the fine lees for four months. A small portion of the blend was barrel fermented to enhance the richness and flavour complexity of the final blend.

A slow secondary fermentation in the bottle delivers the delicate mousse, with fine bubbles that linger over a beautifully crisp acidity. During this 36 months maturation the dead yeast cells accumulates at the bottom of the bottle and contribute to the distinctive brioche, creamy richness associated with an outstanding Méthode Cap Classique. The dead yeast cells (the lees) is then removed by the traditional methods of remuage and degorgement whereby the neck of the bottle is frozen in dry ice and the cells removed whilst still maintain the beautiful bubbles inside.

Pongrácz is inspired by a nobleman and refugee from the Hungarian uprising, Desiderius Pongrácz, whose vision revitalised viticulture in the Cape. He quite literally wrote the book on viticulture and was the author of a number of books and produced numerous scientific publications.

He was a genius for seeing the new in the familiar, finding the unexpected in the traditional and his theories were fresh and provocative – not only on vines and wine, but also music, history and mankind.  Pongrácz was witty and brilliant and his inspiration extended across classical music, anthropology and Dachshunds.

Today the range of Pongrácz Méthode Cap Classiques pays tribute to the innovation, sheer genius and life’s work of Desiderius Pongrácz.

Pongrácz Blanc de Blancs is available from www.vinoteque.co.za

Double the applause for Desiderius Pongrácz at Michelangelo

October 2018

Desiderius Pongrácz vintage 2011 has been awarded with a double gold at the 2018 Michelangelo International Wine Competition, now in its 22nd year.

A delighted Desiderius Pongrácz winemaker Elunda Basson says that this prestigious accolade is the third received in the past two weeks.

“The awards just keep coming in for our flagship Méthode Cap Classique with each medal echoing our continuous commitment in producing world-class quality products. This particular MCC spends a minimum of 60 months in the bottle for a slow secondary fermentation. It’s years of nurturing and I feel so privileged to be making this exquisite MCC.”

Made in the time-honoured French tradition of secondary fermentation in the bottle to produce the lively yet gentle bubbles, the Desiderius Pongrácz 2011, is a blend of Chardonnay (70%) and Pinot Noir (30%) grapes hand-picked from two selected vineyard blocks. Beautiful, elegant bubbles and brioche-like taste fills the mouth with a rich and complex combination of fresh fruit, almonds and buttery bread.

Desiderius Pongrácz is named after the nobleman and Hungarian refugee, Desiderius Pongrácz, who had a profound impact on viticulture in the Western Cape. Considered a genius for finding the unexpected in the traditional and fresh, unconventional theories, Pongrácz was witty and brilliant and his inspiration extended across the wine industry, classical music, anthropology and Dachshunds.

Desiderius triumphs with two awards this week

September 2018

In the definitive guide to the South African Wine Industry released by Tim Atkin, the well-known British wine writer and Master of Wine, Desiderius Pongrácz 2009 received a score of 92. In addition at the 2017 Amorim Cap Classique awards the elegant 2003 vintage of this Méthode Cap Classique received a gold medal in the Museum Class category.

In his sixth report on the industry, Tim tasted more than 1600 and he rates those wines scoring between 90 and 94 to be outstanding and with superior character and style on his 100-point scale.

In his notes, Tim recommends that the Desiderius Pongrácz 2009 be enjoyed now or cellar well up to 2021. He comments that this MCC is “always among the top bubblies”. He says further “Marrying Chardonnay with 40% Pinot Noir, it spends 72 months on lees and is still very fresh for an eight-year-old wine with spicy, dry, very tangy flavours and fine bubbles.”

About the South African industry Tim says, “There wasn’t a single category that didn’t impress me this year” and noted that “MCC bubblies were also fantastic this year and are now deserving of serious attention.”

Desiderius Pongrácz 2009 is made in the French time-honoured tradition of bottle fermentation and is a blend of Chardonnay (70%) and Pinot Noir (30%) grapes hand-picked from two selected vineyard blocks. The wine spent four months maturing on the fine lees before being bottled for a slow secondary fermentation producing the beautiful, elegant bubbles and brioche-like taste.

This graceful MCC is rich and complex with a slight green tint. The combination of fresh fruit, lively bubbles, almonds and rich buttery bread is a delight to the senses.

Desiderius Pongrácz is named after the nobleman and Hungarian refugee, Desiderius Pongrácz, who had a profound impact on viticulture in the Western Cape. Considered a genius for finding the unexpected in the traditional and fresh, unconventional theories, Pongrácz was witty and brilliant and his inspiration extended across the wine industry, classical music, anthropology and Dachshunds.

Desiderius Pongrácz wins Museum Class at MCC Challenge

September 2018

Desiderius Pongrácz vintage 2009 has been awarded as the Museum Class Winner in the 2018 Amorim Cap Classique Challenge.

Receiving a record number of 127 entries the Amorim competition aims to raise the bar and awareness of naturally-fermented sparkling wines, known as Méthode Cap Classique. The Museum Class is only for entry for MCC’s eight years and older to showcase the exceptional aging potential of South Africa’s sparkling wines.
Desiderius Pongrácz winemaker Elunda Basson says that the award is humbling, especially considering that she feels privileged to make such a noble Méthod Cap Classique.

“The Museum category showcases the beauty of older MCC’s. We want to show the world that our Desiderius and many other fine local MCC’s have the potential to age well and for consumers to appreciate the value of locally produced wines and their exceptional quality on par with the finest Champagnes.”
“With the Amorim Cap Classique challenge recognised as South Africa’s benchmark competition for premium MCC’s, their acknowledgment of our flagship Desiderius as one of the top performers is a true testament to our dedication to unparalleled quality.”

Spending minimum 60 months in the bottle for a slow secondary fermentation, the Desiderius Pongrácz 2009, is gracious, elegant and timeless. The MCC, made in the tradition time-honoured French tradition, is a blend of Chardonnay (70%) and Pinot Noir (30%) grapes hand-picked from two selected vineyard blocks. Beautiful, elegant bubbles and brioche-like taste fills the mouth with a rich and complex combination of fresh fruit, almonds and buttery bread.

Desiderius Pongrácz is named after the nobleman and Hungarian refugee, Desiderius Pongrácz, who had a profound impact on viticulture in the Western Cape. Considered a genius for finding the unexpected in the traditional and fresh, unconventional theories, Pongrácz was witty and brilliant and his inspiration extended across the wine industry, classical music, anthropology and Dachshunds.

Although the 2009 vintage is sold out, the latest vintage, Desiderius Pongrácz 2011, is available from fine wine merchants.

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