Pinotage and Simonsig Wine Estate in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation are synonymous, as the first release of this wine by founder Frans Malan was 1970. At that time, Frans was a pioneering winemaker of note across a number of grape types and style of wine. At a time when new small French oak barrels were almost unheard of, Frans was using them in which to mature his Pinotages. Today Simonsig Malan Family Selection Redhill Pinotage 2015 is the Estate’s flagship Pinotage, the other being an unwooded style. The iconic red stone soils of the estate originate from decomposed and weathered shale. Excellent soil for red wine grapes as it both drains easily yet retains moisture.
Warmer weather in August resulted in earlier bud break, after which a warm, dry, windy summer accelerated ripening by approximately two weeks and brought on the earliest start to harvest in decades. The dry weather also led to a very healthy vintage with the vines delivering grapes with beautiful layers of fruit. Once in the cellar, the grapes for the Simonsig Malan Family Selection Redhill Pinotage 2015 were destalked and then gently crushed and shared between two open top fermenters and rotating stainless steel tanks. After six days, the grapes were pressed, and the fermenting juice was taken to tanks for the final days of fermentation, at this time malolactic fermentation took place. Thereafter the wine was matured for 15 months in all new oak barrels, 66% French Oak and 34% American White Oak. The wine was racked four times before being prepared for bottling.
It looks like
Bottled under a natural cork closure in a Bordeaux shaped bottle. The livery is classical Simonsig. In the glass, the wine is an opaque rich almost black plum in colour which pales to a gem bright ruby at the edges.
It smells like
Black and red berries, and spiced plums. Oak and its concomitant spices in undertow.
It tastes like
Full flavours from entry in the Simonsig Malan Family Selection Redhill Pinotage 2015, big mid palate, succulent Morello cherries and vanilla bean. Big, soft with beautifully interwoven tannins and a gently waning aftertaste. This one is a laster and will hold on well for up to 8 – 10 years after harvest.
It’s good with
Serious glass for serious drinking over serious conversation – and perhaps with a bar of dark Belgian chocolate after a meal. It likes our spicy foods, bobotie, boerewors and tomato bredie. Happy to pair with a roasted rack of lamb or a slow roasted belly of pork at a traditional Sunday roast lunch. However, for a mid-week vegetarian supper, Dianne Bibby’s Barley Salad with Sumac and Roast Butternut answers the call. Perfect for this autumn season and the Sumac and Pinotage echo each other. Click here for her recipe.
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