It could not have been a more perfect evening for a bissextile celebration as guests, friends and industry came together in the quaint courtyard of Societi Bistro in support of Matthew Krone (@Kronematt). This independent winemaker, and new father, has quietly been making a name for himself in the industry, however, the with the launch of his maiden prestige cuvée Methode Cap Classic (MCC) Alexandra de la Marque Krone 2010, I doubt that he will be able to remain in the background for very long.
As fate would have it, this fait accompli nearly passed Matthew by, as he originally considered leaving the wine industry completely after his family lost their generations-old family estate a few years ago. Friends persisted, and I suspect a plea to Matthew’s vanity prevailed when it was pointed out (and rightfully so!) that he is the progeny of generations of SA winemakers and may know a thing or two about making a good MCC. Other wine projects followed, the release of his own boutique brands later, and Matthew knew that he couldn’t stay away from the one thing he is most passionate about.
Passion is probably the one word that resonates with everything that Matthew speaks about. Whether it’s about the fortunate position to source grapes from all over the SA wine region –selecting the top vineyard blocks from premium growers, picking only the best quality from each block; the process of malolactic fermentation before it is bottled and matured on lees for five years prior to dégorement or how this special prestige Cuvee was endowed – to the incredible love and joy he has for his daughter.
“Alexandra de la Marque Krone. My beautiful daughter, our first child, was born in October 2015. I initially intended to use a different name for the MCC and the labels were already in the final design stage. Three days after her birth I didn’t like my label anymore, so I changed it completely and named it after her instead” Matthew enthused during dinner after the event. “She totally owns me. Her middle name, de la Marque was also my late grandmother’s middle name, and her mother’s before that.”
Interestingly enough, and this is totally off the topic here, Matthew’s use of Pareto’s principle of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir blend, the connection with this particular vintage has an added sentimentality in that Sarah, Matthew’s equally gorgeous wife was proposed to during the middle of the 2010 harvest and the basis for this vintage now named after their daughter. So the connection that makes this even more special a celebration if you will, turned … uhm … full circle. To Matthew’s benefit though he has been able to draw on the knowledge of his great-grandfather, NC Krone who also has the unique distinction of being awarded Chevalier légion d’honneur for his contribution to the international winemaking industry.
Most young girls can only dream of being given a pony for their sweet 16th birthday and few can compete with having a new legacy that will span beyond the coming 300 years not just named after them but something to aspire to join quite as special and unique as “Alexandra de la Marque Krone”.
Alexandra was officially launched on Monday, 29th February 2016, and the next vintages will only appear every leap year – 2020, 2024 – you get the picture. Ancient tradition aside, four years is also the perfect time for MCC to bottle-ferment and reach optimum development. In comparison, and an interesting side notes that Matthew shared with us at the dinner, was that in the Champagne region, the average non-vintage champagne bottle-ferments to around three years, vintage Champagnes for five years and prestige cuvée Champagnes can take up to nine years. So the Alexandra is perfectly aged so drinkers can start to experience the more complex notes with depth on the palate.
The King of prestige Cuvée is dead. Long live the King.
No other place seemed more perfect than Matthew’s choice of venue to host such an exclusive event in the heart of Cape Town’s city bowl: Societi Bistro’s courtyard. The choice of our newly favourite bubbles mixed with our already established love of the restaurant made the event just that much more special to many who attended as guests while nibbling on Pâté and Quail egg’s drizzled with Truffle oil canapés. For those not in the know, Societi is a hidden gem – a home away from home for many local and international regulars alike – which Peter Wheetman has carefully crafted into a relaxed and unpretentious environment considering the gallery of who’s who that eats there. With a high emphasis placed on exceptional service and the innovative use of seasonal ingredients (much of which is sourced locally from sustainable suppliers).
Societi Bistro (@SocietiBistro) seemed the perfect ‘home’ for me and friends, but now with the addition of Alexandra de la Marque Krone to the wine list, it’s going to be the epicentre of Cape Town’s “In” foodie and wine crowd. If anything, Clouds (@cloudsdrummond), Katia (@katstar28) and Mark (@theblenderswine) and I will be back for many more happy lunches and dinners.
Societi Bistro: 50 Orange St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001or follow them on Twitter: @societibistro or Instagram: @societibistro and Facebook: Societi Bistro