The celebrated Stellenbosch winery that spearheaded a Pinotage revolution in 1994 by releasing South Africa’s very first Cape Blend is once again among the champions of this year’s Perold Absa Cape Blend Competition – the judges panel included among its final Top Five, the winery’s Frans Malan 2017.
Simonsig Wine Estate was also named among this year’s champions of the Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top 10, having entered what is arguably one of the competition’s most intriguing wines to date – the Simonsig Chenin Avec Chêne 2019. Reflecting the winery’s legacy for often taking the road less travelled, the wine hails from a single vineyard planted in 1986, whose fruit was harvested over a period of intervals, and vinified – in small part – using an unorthodox winemaking technique.
Indeed, it has been an exceptional year for Simonsig, which has marked several prominent milestones. These include the 50th anniversary of its Kaapse Vonkel – the wine that pioneered South African Cap Classique; and, the 50th anniversary of the country’s first wine route in Stellenbosch, co-established by Simonsig Estate founder and Malan Family patriarch, Frans Malan.
The Chenin Avec Chêne 2019 is a wine that lights up with aromas of citrus blossom and lemon tart on a backdrop of stone fruits and nuts. On the palate, it reveals flavours of white peach, gooseberry, and dried fruit while a touch of oak contributes complexity and spice. In fact, it’s the fine use of wood maturation to which the name, French for Chenin with oak, alludes.
The Frans Malan wine came into being with its release in 1994; the 1991 vintage being the first Cape Blend in South Africa. On the nose, the 2017 shows a burst of brambleberry and dark cherry with touches of vanilla and pencil shavings. The palate has a pleasant freshness that carries the fruit for a lingering finish.
The Chenin Avec Chêne 2019 (R195) and Frans Malan 2017 (R295) are available to buy online, along with the rest of Simonsig’s extensive portfolio, via https://www.simonsig.co.za/wine-shop/
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