I remember walking through the Simonsig Cellar with that amazing pioneer Frans Malan who was so proud of his Champagne style wine which he named Kaapse Vonkel. Frans was the first out of the starting block, indeed as he was with many wine styles and also founding the Stellenbosch Wine Route, the first and still the most successful of the wine routes. Kaapse Vonkel came into being and with the Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut 2016 celebrated yet another successful vintage.
The blend of the Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel 2016, made up this year by Owner and Cellarmaster, Johan Malan is 53% Pinot Noir, 46% Chardonnay and 1% Pinot Meunier, a classical Champagne blend using the two black and one white which are traditionally used. Made in the midst of the worst drought in living memory, the grapes were healthy, though the crop was down in most Appellations, those of Simonsig were up by 2%.
The grapes were all hand harvested by Francois Malan, Owner and Vineyardist, and the bunches whole pressed to collect the purest juice, known as the cuvée. The juices were settled and then fermented in stainless steel tanks. A portion of the Chardonnay was fermented in previous fill French oak barrels to add complexity to the wine. No malolactic fermentation took place. The base wine was then blended and bottled for the second fermentation. After time on the lees, the wine was prepared for corking and the application of the wire muzzle.
From a traditional Champagne shaped bottle with the traditional cork and wire muzzle. The label is classical Champagne style, very elegant. In the glass, the colour is a gem bright pale golden straw. Masses of the tiniest bubbles rush up to the surface forming a crown around the edges. The aromas are charming white flowers, a plentitude of citrus and Golden Delicious apples. The bubbles add so much to the enjoyment of the flavours. Lovely long dry ending.
Please chill this well and use the Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut 2016 not only as a celebration wine. It is perfect at breakfast with Nina Timms Breakfast Blinis. So many people think that a bubbly is only for celebration, it is the most perfect mid-morning refresher and as an aperitif – taking you into the meal. At sundown, serve it with some little snacks. Nina Timms Breakfast Skillet Blinis are perfect for the Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel 2016 at your breakfast table. Click here for her recipe.
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