A Tiara is a crown, worn by women, Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Princesses all wear them. Appropriate then for Simonsig Wine Estate in Stellenbosch to name one of their most special wines, Tiara. The current vintage is the Simonsig The Malan Family Collection Tiara 2015 born of a harvest that they call ‘one for the books.’ Warm weather in the August of 2014 allowed for early bud break and then following by a dry warm summer the harvest took place two weeks earlier. Different blocks were picked at different times, each adding its own character to the final blend. Tiara, indeed.
Tiara has been part of the family since 1990, with Petit Verdot becoming part of the blend in 1997. After the traditional elevation the wine is taken for 17 months to French oak barrels of which just over half were new and the balance or previously filled barrels. The wines were then blended, Cabernet Sauvignon 68%, Merlot 24%, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot 4% each. The Tiara 2015 was prepared for bottling.
It looks like
Bottled under natural cork in a Bordeaux shaped bottle. The Tiara label is descriptive and elegant with the name Simonsig and the wine appellation, Stellenbosch and the Malan Family crest embossed in gold foil on the bottle. In the glass, the wine is a deep plum red which pale to crimson garnet at the edges.
It smells like
Black fruit. Blackcurrants, roadside brambles, undertow of oak and its concomitant spices.
It tastes like
From entry the Tiara offers generous dark and red berry fruits and ripe prune plums. The fruit is in perfect balance with the effects of the restrained oaking and the cashmere-clad tannins. The mid palate positively swirls with fruit, and the back smell of the fine French oak.
It goes with
A wine of majesty like the Tiara is just perfect as a post prandial glass while discussing serious subjects like the recent Springbok win in Johannesburg and the 7s victory in Paris. Or the soccer mom’s timetable. To be serious though it is a sublime food wine and a pork belly done on the braai with crispy crackling would be a real contender as a partner, as would a perfectly grilled slice of rump steak. Ina Paarman’s Oxtail with Mushrooms & Baby Onions answers the call. Click here for her recipe.
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