A truly special wine with which to celebrate Chenin Blanc Day on Saturday 20th. The first Chenin Blanc was released by founder Frans Malan in 1968. Some forty years later his sons Francois [Viticulturist] and Johan [Cellarmaster] have had the experience of working with Chenin Blanc, realised that this vineyard, planted in 1968 on weathered shale, gave intensely perfumed fruit. The grapes for the Simonsig Chenin Avec Chêne 2017 [Chenin with Oak] were picked over four passes in the ideal ripeness window to give full expression to the grape. Fruit that would be enhanced by some judicious oaking for a year on its lees in previous fill 400 and 225 litre French oak barrels. Batonnage was applied during the maturation period to fill out the mid palate. Malolactic fermentation did not occur. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. The livery is simple and elegant, the family crest, name of the estate and a small well-designed label. In the glass, the wine is a pale wheaten colour, gem bright. The aromas are of white tropical flowers and brisk citrus, and ripe stone fruit. The palate is wonderfully rich and generous. On the palate, from entry there is a lovely line of acidity which runs through to the long and slowly waning aftertaste. Lemon curd on hot buttered brioche and white fleshed nectarine on the palate, supported by the oak with its concomitant spice and vanilla. A glass of stature. Will improve over the next two years with some cool cellaring.
The Simonsig Chenin Avec Chêne 2017 is a wine for a well-prepared meal. While it will be a perfect partner to the traditional Sunday Roast Chicken, it will go well with a well-prepared dish for a mid-week supper. As a first course, Christine Capendale’s Biltong & Mushroom Soup will warm you up. Click HERE for her recipe.
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