I remember in the late 1950s a South African built car, the GSM Dart was launched. My mother had a friend who ran the gifts department in Garlicks in Cape Town. She cleared space on her floor and there the GSM Dart stood for punters to kick its tyres, wonder at its fiberglass body and the fact that it had, I think, a Ford Engine inside it. As a boy, this was a very exciting thing to behold, especially as I was a bit of a petrolhead.
While the Simonsig GSM 2017 has nothing to do with this, the GSM part has stayed in my mind ever since. The GSM stands for Grenache Noir, Shiraz and Mourvèdre, the grapes use in the blend in reverse order of the percentages. The harvest took place in the midst of the worst drought in the Western Cape in living memory. Yet Francois Malan, owner and viticulturist of Simonsig was able to deliver to brother Johan, Cellarmaster, grapes of fine quality, smaller berries though well concentrated.
The main aim for the brothers with the Simonsig GSM 2017 was to preserve freshness of fruit and a moderate alcohol. 75% of this blend was picked earlier and underwent carbonic maceration to enhance the red berry fruit and to obtain natural acidity. 24% of the blend spent 5 months in older barrels before it was prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with screw cap. The label is classical Simonsig. In the glass, the wine is a deep ruby at the heart which pales out to translucent ruby garnet at the edges. The aromas are of strawberry and raspberry pastilles. The palate from entry is lush with berries, Top Red Apples and a little grind of white pepper. Soft cashmere clad tannins, a lowish alcohol and a long tail add to the pleasure.
This wine is a great sipper at sundown, do chill it for about 30 minutes in an ice bucket. With Easter upon is, lamb would be a good partner. Hein van Tonder, food photographer, stylist and cook is making such a name for himself internationally as a photographic artist, so deserved. Years of hard work has brought him here. Christine Capendale’s Easter Lamb Roast with Roasted Onions & Chimichurri is a great partner to the Simonsig GSM 2017. Just look at those onions! Click HERE for her recipe.
Listen to my podcast – CLICK HERE
Read more about Simonsig Wines – CLICK HERE