Every winemaker loves doing a little experimentation on the side and has his little pet projects. Not many have a Vineyardist brother who can plant little blocks of special grapes for them. And so it is with Johan Malan, the Cellarmaster and his brother Francois, Vineyardist, owners of Simonsig Wine Estate at Koelenhof in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation. The Grapesmith is Johan’s pet project. At the moment, the range consists of two blended whites – reds no doubt to follow.
The vines, botanical name, Vitis vinifera which provides the grapes for this wine are referred to as a Mediterranean weed, a reference to where they have been grown for Millenia around the Mediterranean Sea. We too have a Mediterranean Climate in the opposing latitude in the Southern Hemisphere where our vineyards are grown under the Southern Cross, in ancient African soil. The grapes used in this blend, 38% Roussanne, 38% Marsanne, 22% Grenache Blanc and 2% Verdelho are Mediterranean with the exception of the Verdelho which grown in Northern Portugal. These vines are perfectly suited to the Mediterranean climate and quite hardy, and they flourish in drier conditions. The Mediterraneo is fermented and matured in seasoned French oak barrels for 11 months and only 9 barrels were produced.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with natural cork and covered with yellow wax. The bottle is engraved with the Southern Cross and has a simple elegant label. In the glass, it is a pale straw with lime green flashes. The aromas are of sweet tropical limes and lemony spices. There is a wonderful line of acidity which runs through form entry to the long and gently waning aftertaste. The palate is generous in its fruit and supported by oak and its concomitant spices. Nice weighty glass of wine. So ready to drink now.
The Simonsig The Grapesmith Mediterraneo 2019 is a wine for serious sipping in the last afternoon at sundown, or as an aperitif before dinner. Sardines on the braai, would be a perfect companion, as would Ina Paarman’s Whole Fish over the Coals. Click HERE for her recipe.
Click HERE to listen to my podcast, first aired on Fine Music Radio
Read more about Simonsig Wine Estate and its Wine and other offerings – CLICK HERE