Simonsig Malan Family Collection Frans Malan 2006, good with Cheryl Bennett’s Vegan Crispy Tofu Asian Noodle Bowl

Simonsig Malan Family Collection Frans Malan 2006

Frans Malan was a true pioneer in the Cape Wine Industry and had a major impact on the way things were done from the middle to the end of the last century. One of the early estate bottlings of Chenin Blanc and Pinotage came from Simonsig Estate in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation. And always by his side, the mother of his three sons, Liza. In her own way a pioneer being part of the formation of the Stellenbosse Fynproewersgilde. The Gilde, created the first Stellenbosch Wine and Food Show with its humble beginnings in the Stellenbosch Town Hall and now is a huge affair in the early months of the year. Apt then that sons Johan and Francois have name a wine after Frans in the Malan Family Collection range, the Simonsig Malan Family Collection Frans Malan 2006.

Pinotage Grapes on the vine – picture by Dusan Jelic

Apt too that the wine should be what is referred to as a Cape Blend, which requires 35% Pinotage. The Simonsig Malan Family Collection Frans Malan 2006 contains 60% Pinotage, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. Francois, the Estate’s Viticulturist put up with severe weather conditions, a very wet winter in the previous year and cool temperatures in the spring and early summer. High temperatures prevailed and required some irrigation to raise the water levels in the soil. Small berries were a result of this weather, but they added to the deep colour of the wine and to the intensity of the fruit.

Frans & Liza Malan, creators of Simonsig

Extra work in uplifting the Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in the previous four years and the excellent quality of the Merlot showed good work in the vineyards which resulted in excellent grapes being delivered to the Cellar for Johan and his team to elevate the grapes into the Simonsig Malan Family Collection Frans Malan 2006.

An interesting oaking process also added so much, 19 months was spent in just over half American White Oak Barrels and the balance French Oak. 47% of the barrels were new, 33% of them 2nd fill and 20% 3rd fill. The wine was then prepared for bottling.

Simonsig owners, Francois [Vineyardist]  & Johan Malan [Cellarmaster]

It looks like
Bottled under natural cork in a Bordeaux shaped bottle with a simple elegant label and gold foiling on the bottles. In the glass, a deep deep plum at the core which pales out to ruby at the edges.

It smells like
Generous berries and plums and the ‘sweet’ oaky and vanilla whiffs from the mixed American and French oak.

It tastes like
Truly sappy red and black fruit and berries. I always like the red fruit Pinotage brings to a wine and it is present here in the flavours of strawberries and redcurrants. In the background, dark chocolate and latte. Cashmere clad tannins are well interwoven with the fruit, oak and brightness of the fruit. The Simonsig Malan Family Collection Frans Malan 2006 is a unique and special wine, aptly named for a unique and special man Frans Malan.

Cheryl Bennett’s Vegan Crispy Tofu Asian Noodle Bowl

It’s good with
Perfect for watching the Twickenham 7s today with a stick of good dried sausage and a sharp knife. But, regal in its stature it is the perfect partner for red meat of almost every description. Perhaps best with roasted, grilled, braaied or pan-fried meat which has a caramel edge. Cheryl Bennett from Florida runs a business with a website called Pook’s Pantry. Cheryl is a professional chef and we have become internet friends. A good dish for vegans and vegetarians is Cheryl Bennett’s Vegan Crispy Tofu Asian Noodle Bowl, the caramelly Tofu being the perfect foil for this wine. Click here for her recipe.

Cheryl Bennett, chef and owner of Pook’s Pantry

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