There is something almost magical about the thought, just before drinking, of Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel 2018. A history of pioneering on the Simonsig Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, the first ever Champagne style Méthode Cap Classique wine made in South Africa, the leader of the pack. Over the years Kaapse Vonkel has been joined by several other different types of MCC wines under the Simonsig livery. The latest, two wines, a white and a rosé called Satin Nectar which satisfies the palates of those who want their glass less dry.
Kaapse Vonkel is the pioneer and the late Frans Malan started his experiments in the early 70s, he used Chenin Blanc. Today his sons, Francois [Vineyardist] and Johan [Production Director] and three of his grandchildren, Michael, Christelle & Francois Jacques, continue this traditional of pioneering, Pliny the Elder might have said, “always something new out of Simonsig” had he known the Estate.
The blend of the Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut 2018 is made up using the classical grapes which originate from Champagne, Chardonnay 55%, Pinot Noir 43% and 2% Pinot Meunier. The grapes are hand picked into small bins to preserve the integrity of the grapes. The grapes were gently whole bunch pressed to collect the finest first juices called the cuvée. The juices were cool settled and then taken to stainless steel tanks for fermentation using a special yeast. Part of the Chardonnay was fermented in previous fill French oak barrels to add to the breadth if flavour in the final wine. The wine was then blended and bottled, with no malolactic fermentation, in the traditional bottle with a touch of sugar and yeast which creates the fine bubble.
From a traditional Champagne shaped bottle. The bottle is closed with a specially made cork nd a little wire muzzle, which serves to keep the cork in place against the pressure from inside the bottle. In the glass, the wine has a pale gold colour with the tiniest of bubbles rushing helter skelter to the surface and forming a crown round the edges. Whiffs of Granny Smith apples, ripe soft fleshed white peaches and a beguiling fresh baked almond biscotti aroma. On the palate, the excitement of the bubbles adds so much to the pleasure, there is a golden thread of acidity running through from entry to the long and gently waning aftertaste. Red berries and citrus fill the mid palate. Impressive historic glass.
Traditionally the style of wine and the Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut 2018 are used as celebratory wines. Foods usually associated are oysters, seafood, smoked salmon. I like to recommend that the wine is taken not necessarily as a celebratory wine which limits its use, but as a wine which will go as well with a lovingly prepared midweek supper dish, when after the efforts of a long hot summer’s day, a delicious glass of something sparkly is required. The Cuvée Restaurant at Simonsig offers some brilliant and Charron Mehlo’s menu has some great accompaniment to a fine wine like this. If you are far away, at home you might like to try Ina Paarman’s Anchovy Pasta with Garlic Breadcrumbs, a simple dish of utter deliciousness. Click HERE for her recipe and to look at her recipe packed website.
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