A single-vineyard Syrah from the Cape‘s 2010 vintage made on Simonsig Estate won one of the few Gold medals awarded at this year’s Syrah du Monde competition in France. The Simonsig Merindol Syrah 2010 was among only 35 Gold medal winners out of 372 wines entered by 26 countries at this year’s rendition of the world’s premier competition for Syrah/ Shiraz wines.
Simonsig cellar master Johan Malan said he felt elated by the sterling performance of this seven year-old wine, one of only five South African wines to strike Gold in the Syrah du Monde this year. The name Merindol is taken from the Malan Coat of Arms and is the French village from where the Malans’ Huguenot forebears originated.
“The wine comes from a vintage during which everything was thrown at us,” he says. “2010 has gone down as one of the smallest and lightest vintages in our history due to the onslaught of various natural elements that challenged the vines’ health,” says Johan. “Initially, ripening was even until a real Cape heatwave hit us in February and the first week of March, causing sugar levels to jump with the same haste required of our harvest teams to get the fruit in the cellar.
“The smaller yields led to concentrated berries, and fruit expression was terrific and complemented by balanced analyses. The wine’s intense structure was complemented by the 19 months the wine spent in new French barriques, making for superb aging potential, as the quality of this wine has shown in collecting a Gold medal in this prestigious competition.”
The Merindol Syrah, a wine in Simonsig’s Malan Family Selection range, was made from a vineyard planted in 1996.
The Syrah vineyard from which the Merindol originates is planted on deep red Hutton soil of weathered granite origin. “These soils, along with the Simonsig climate and aspect of the vineyard, make ideal conditions for growing premium red wine grapes,” says Malan. “The high clay percentage has excellent water retention capacity able to sustain the vines during the dry summer months.”
Malan says that the recognition Simonsig achieved at the Syrah du Monde underscores the Stellenbosch region’s ability to produce a diverse range of wines from various grape varieties suited to the unique terroir.
“We are truly blessed with this geography enabling our winemakers to make an array of quality wines able to not only hold their own, but to excel on the world stage,” says Malan. “The competitiveness of the international Syrah/Shiraz category gives our award extra glister, and we accept it with gratitude and pride as an endorsement of South Africa’s winemaking ability.”
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Information from MediaVision