Graham Beck’s 2014 Cuvée Clive – a showcase of power and elegance

Wednesday, 4 December, 2019
Dr. Carien Coetzee - Basic Wine
Cuvée Clive is Graham Beck’s most distinguished and exclusive Cap Classique yet. It represents the very pinnacle of their specialized craft and is testimony to their reputation as a world class producer of Méthode Champenoise style wines.

During the exciting release of the new vintage (2014), Pieter “Bubbles” Ferreira explained how the Cuvée Clive is “a wine with no rules”. Made in the traditional Méthode Cap Classique style, each release of the Cuvée Clive is solely based on the quality of the vintage with no set methodology when crafting this wine.

Therefore, the Cuvée Clive will only be produced in exceptional vintages, respecting their quest to produce world class iconic sparkling wines. A lineup of the past 4 limited releases (2014, 2012, 2011, 2009) showed different components with some of the wines containing larger Pinot Noir percentages, compared to the 2014 vintage, which is produced in exclusive quantities from only the very best 100% Chardonnay cuvée juice (70% from Robertson and 30% from Darling). “No vintage is a copy,” confirms Ferreira explaining that the composition of the wine is never pre-determined. 

Primary fermentation and maturation took place in neutral Piece Champenoise barrels for a three month period, after which the two portions were blended and bottled. After 60 months of lees ageing in the bottle, the 2014 Cuvée Clive emerged as a showcase of power and elegance seamlessly flowing together.

This extraordinary bubbly is a complex, balanced, elegant cap classique which intrigues the senses from start to finish. Ripe citrus aromas are supported by apricot, apple and toasted almond nuances. The palate starts off with flavours of fresh and zesty citrus, developing into richer, fleshy yellow stone fruit and nutty notes. The piercing acidity, multifaceted texture and delightfully small bubbles creates a taste experience which leaves the palate begging for more.

On the international judging circuit, the Cuvée Clive continues to raise the bar, having once again been selected as Overall Sparkling Wine of the Year by Tim Atkin, award-winning British journalist and Master of Wine, in his South Africa 2019 Special Report. The 2014 Cuvée Clive notched up 96 out of 100 points, thereby earning it a Gold Medal and Atkin's highest praise in this competitive category. It was also one of only two MCCs to win the coveted Veritas Double Gold award.

This prestige cuvée embodies the Graham Beck pursuit of the perfect bubble and is a culmination of meticulous planning and an unwavering dedication to excellence skilfully expressing the hallmarks of a distinguished prestige Cuvée – sophistication, finesse with superb ageing potential.