Simonsig Wine Estate in Koelenhof in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation bottled its first Sauvignon Blanc in 1978. Only in the last 10 years with careful attention to site, selection of the right clones and excellent canopy management by Francois Malan, Vineyardist and owner of Simonsig Wine Estate, and his team has the variety come into its own. Choice of site is important – the newer plantings are at higher altitudes in straight line of sight to False Bay from whence cometh the cooling breezes which ameliorate summer heat in the vineyards. Harvested in the early hours before the summer sun starts heating the vineyards. Once in the cellar, Johan Malan and his team take over and the grapes are destalked and crushed. Certain blocks have minimal skin contact before gentle pressing. The juice is then cold and clear settled before going into a long cool slow fermentation. The wine then lies on its lees for anything from 3 to 6 months before being prepared for bottling.
From a bespoke bottle, similar in shape to an Alsatian Flute. The bottle has the Malan Family Crest embossed in the glass at the ‘neck’. The label is simple, classical Simonsig. In the glass, the wine is gem bright, a pale straw in colour with youthful lime green flashes. The aromas are typical Stellenbosch Sauvignon, granadilla, poached cape gooseberries and an undertow of green figs. From entry the palate is sparky through the generous midpalate and into the long aftertaste. A melange of tropical fruits is found on the palate, desiccated pineapple, ripe melon and kiwi fruit, with a whisper of freshly mown grass. An impressive glass, ready for now drinking, though a year or two of cool cellaring will just reward you.
The Simonsig Sunbird Sauvignon Blanc 2020, well chilled is a great glass on its own as a mid-morning refresher, sundown sipper and a real aperitif leading into a meal with suitable foods. Dianne Bibby’s Roast Aubergine with Miso & Pomelo is the most delicious lunchtime-on-the-verandah dish. CLICK HERE for her recipe.
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