All the world is going crazy for Demi-Sec Wines. The French Champagne Houses are making this style of wine and Sub Saharan Africa is lapping them up.
Johan and Francois Malan, owners of Simonsig Wine Estate in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation, are as much pioneers like their father Frans who with his wife Liza created Simonsig Wine Estate. Frans created the first Champagne style sparkling wine with a second fermentation in the bottle in the early 1970s. The Malans have taken the success of the Kaapse Vonkel Brut and run with it. The range consists of 5 different wines made in the style now known as Méthode Cap Classique or MCC for short.
The 2018 vintage was the last of the awful drought experienced in the Western Cape. The blend is 49% Pinot Noir,40% Chardonnay, 9% Pinot Meunier, and 2% Pinotage.
For both of The Nectars, after harvest, the bunches were whole bunch pressed, the premium juice which came off the press, called the cuvée was settled overnight and then taken to fermentation. A portion of the Chardonnay component was fermented in previous fill French oak barrels in order to add complexity to the final wine. After blending the first fermentations, the wine is bottled in the traditional Champagne bottles under crown cork with a splash of special yeast and sugar. The second fermentation then takes place which creates the tiny bubbles. After disgorging, the Champagne cork is inserted and covered with a wire muzzle, called a museliére, is attached to keep the cork in place as the pressure from inside is equivalent to that of a bus tyre.
From the traditional Champagne shaped bottled, elegantly liveried. In the glass, the wine is a pale golden amber. The aromas are of white fleshed peaches, plums, and a fresh baked almond biscotti. The vibrance of the bubbles and the balancing acidity makes this a truly refreshing glass. Serve it well chilled.
The Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Satin Nectar 2018 has a touch of residual sugar allowing it to be called Demi-Sec [French for half dry]. Good with Coronation Chicken with its curried mayonnaise dressing and fresh mango. Good with goat cheese spread on crackers with a touch of inion marmalade on top. You can be a total devil and serve with a dessert called Spotted Dog, a steamed pudding with currants and a touch of runny cream or Nina Timm’s Honey Comb Pudding. Click here for her recipe
This wine is made in exactly the same way as the one above. There is no oak fermentation. The blend here is 72% Pinot Noir, 27% Pinotage and 1% of the second red grape of Champagne, Pinot Meunier. Here, under the guiding hand of Johan Malan, Charl Schoeman has created something truly special.
From an elegantly liveried Champagne shaped bottle and closed with natural cork and a muzzle. In the glass, the wine is a charming pink blush with hundreds of the tiniest bubbles rushing to form a crown around the edges. The aromas are of whole preserved fraises des bois and Agen prune plums. Vibrant on the palate with all the components in complete harmony. An exciting glass.
The Kaapse Vonkel Satin Nectar Rosé 2017, is great as a glass on its own. Serve well chilled. Good with sushi, sashimi and smoked fish or chicken. The perfect partner is a dessert, an apple galette, the filling not too sweet but redolent of cinnamon, with a lovely buttery crust. Here’s Nina Timm’s recipe, CLICK HERE.
Nina Timm of myeasycooking
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