Simonsig Wine Estate is situated in Koelenhof at the Northern edge of the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation. It is owned by Johan Malan, Cellarmaster and Francois Malan the Estate’s Vineyardist. Their father, Frans Malan was one of South Africa’s great wine pioneers on the second half of the last century. First Wine Estate to bottle a Chenin Blanc, then a Pinotage and then, one of Frans’s greatest wine gifts to South Africa, Kaapse Vonkel, a Champagne Method of sparkling wine, now known as Méthode Cap Classique or MCC. Johan himself is a pioneer in the cellar, as much as Francois is in the Estate’s vineyards.
Johan’s little interest in the cellar is a range of two wines called The Grapesmith. And Die Kluisenaar is one of them. A blend of half each of Roussanne and Marsanne, with different winemaking techniques to bring out the best in each.
The Roussanne is brought into the cellar and cooled overnight in the picking bins. The following morning the bunches are pressed whole and this fine juice is then taken to 225 litre previous fill French Oak Barrels. For 12 months the wine lay on the lees with occasional batonnage. No malolactic fermentation took place.
The Marsanne followed the same path as the Roussanne in the cellar with no malolactic fermentation either. `the wines were then blended, and the wine prepared for bottling
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, close with natural cork which is covered with yellow wax. The label is simple elegant and descriptive. In the glass, the is a pale lemon gold in colour. The aromas or of mimosa blossom, lemon curd and baked apple stuffed with walnuts. The palate, from entry is soft and gentle with a thread of acidity running through the rich and generous mid-palate. Fine fruit, yellow peaches, melon and some river stone minerality in the long and gently waning aftertaste.
The Simonsig The Grapesmith Die Kluisenaar 2017 is a foo wine. It needs to be chilled, more like a Chardonnay than a Sauvignon Blanc, not too cold. It loves food. Seafood, crayfish, prawns. Perfect with a butter roasted organic chicken. Also good with a crisp baguette and a tranche of Dalewood Fromage Simond, made from the milk of grass pastured Jersey Cows.
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