Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel was a wine created by Frans Malan, pioneering owner of Simonsig Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, in the early 1970s. Using the classical Champagne method of a second fermentation in the bottle, Frans used Chenin Blanc as the base wine for his early experimental vintages. Now, Chardonnay and Champagnes two black grapes, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier form the basis of this now iconic Méthode Cap Classique. A natural progression brought about the Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rosé, with a blend of 72% Pinot Noir, 27% Pinotage and 1% Pinot Meunier for the 2017 Vintage.
The vines for the Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rosé 2017 survived through the worst drought in living memory and the crop was smaller. Small berries with brilliant colour and fruit concentration were delivered by Francois Malan, Owner and the Estate Vineyardist, to his brother Johan, Owner and Cellarmaster. The grapes were gently whole bunch pressed to produce the purest juice, known as the cuvée. The wines were then cool fermented in stainless steel tanks, blended and the base wine was bottled. A shot of yeast and sugar, a crown cork and the second fermentation took place in the bottle adding the finest of bubbles. The wine rested on its lees for some time before being degorged, corked and packaged.
From a traditional Champagne shaped bottle closed under natural cork, with a wire muzzle to keep the cork in place. The label is elegant Simonsig, the foiling a delicate pink. In the glass, the wine is pretty like a pink diamond with thousands of the tiniest bubbles [known as the mousse] rushing to form a crown around the edges of the glass. The aromas are those of red berries, strawberries and pink spun sugar. The flavours follow through with fresh baked brioche and a zippy acidity from entry through into the long aftertaste. A wine for celebration and a wine to be drunk anytime as a mid-morning refresher or as part of a well-cooked midweek supper.
Traditionally one thinks of smoked salmon, oysters and plump pink prawns as the perfect marriage. Nina Timm’s Avocado Burger is an amusing retro dish in a riff on Avocado Ritz and a perfect match to the Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rosé 2017. Click HERE for her recipe.
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