South Africa’s own invention red wine grape Pinotage comes in many guises, from still fresh young wines which have had no oak treatment, are made in a Blanc de Noir Style, is used in our well known MCC wines, made in the style of Champagne with a second fermentation in the bottle. The premium red wines on Simonsig Wine Estate are in a range called The Malan Family Selection, named for the Malan Family which founded the Estate back in the middle of the last century. The very first bottled wine released by founder Frans Malan in 1970 was a Pinotage. In the following years, he started experimenting with new small French Oak barrels. This man was a busy pioneer! The Simonsig Redhill Pinotage 2015 is the heir to the 1970s experiments, a full bodied oak matured Pinotage from a specific vineyard site, on the well-known red hills of the Simonsig Wine Estate. Made up of decomposed weathered shale and regarded as the finest soil for growing vines for the production of red wine. The soil has both good drainage and fine moisture retention. The 2015 harvest is described by Simonsig as ‘one for the books.’ Warm weather during August caused early bud break which accelerated the ripening my two weeks.
The harvesting season was dry, so the grapes were healthy and delivered great fruit. Once in the cellar, the grapes for the Simonsig Redhill Pinotage 2015 where stripped off the stalks and crushed. They lay on the skins fermenting for 6 days, were then pressed and the fermentation completed in tank. Oak maturation took place for 15 months in all new barrels, 66% French Oak and 34% American White Oak. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
It looks like
Bottled under natural cork in a Bordeaux shaped bottle with an elegant Bordeaux style label, with its clipped corners and gold foiling. In the glass, the wine has a deeply dark, almost Indian Ink colour at the core which pales out to a rich ruby at the edges.
It smells like
Dark berry and plum fruits, oak and its concomitant ‘sweet’ spice.
It tastes like
A fabulous vibrant entry which fills the whole palate with a mélange of cherries, roadside brambles and a touch of redcurrant. Elegant wine, silken cashmere textures and a sensually satisfying long, and gentle waning aftertaste.
It’s good with
This is a food wine, as much as it is a wine to drink on its own discussing such important matters as election results in Outer Mongolia or the Hurling finals in Dublin. As for food, it is happy with a fine dish of Cape Bobotie, or a tomato bredie. It is good with a lusty vegetarian main course where the flavours are mushroom, tomato, mozzarella and parmesan style cheese. Parmigiano Reggiano is not vegetarian as the milk is always curdled with animal rennet. Nina Timm’s Aubergines – all gooey and cheesy, is a great partner to the Simonsig Redhill Pinotage 2015. Click here for her recipe.
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