The Founder of Simonsig Wine Estate at Koelenhof in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation, Frans Malan, first bottled his Chenin Blanc in 1968, the first wine in a bottle to be released by the Estate. His sons Francois and Johan now wear the mantles of Frans and Liza Malan who were so instrumental in so many initiatives both in wine and in the cultural life of Stellenbosch.
The grapes are delivered to the cellar by Francois and his team after being handpicked in the earl morning. Johan and his team destem and crush them, some of the lots have overnight skin contact. The juice is cold settled and the yeast for fermentation, known for producing fruity wines, is added after the clean clear juice is racked off the settlings. Cool fermentation tool place which allowed maximum flavours in the finished wine. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a bottle akin to an Alsatian Flute, closed with a screw cap. The livery is typical Simonsig, elegant and descriptive. In the glass, the wine is a pale straw with lime green flashes when held up to the light. The aromas are of green apples, rough skinned lemons. They segue into the palate where the entry is crisp and fresh with a lovely line of citrus running through to the long and gently waning aftertaste. The palate is a mélange of tropical fruits with granadilla. A wine for ‘now drinking’. Classical benchmark Chenin.
For me a Chenin Blanc like the Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2020, is a perfect glass on its own. A mid-morning refresher, a sundown sipper and the best aperitif. Also, for me, is the marriage of a fine Chenin like this one with a delicious butter roast organic chicken served as a midweek supper dish with crisp roast potatoes and real gravy. Dianne Bibby does this particularly well with her Buttered Roast Chicken. Click HERE for her recipe.
Dianne Bibby’s E-book, buy HERE
Click HERE to see my iMovie about this wine, first aired on Fine Music Radio.
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