Simonsig victorious with double acclaim for wooded Chenin Blanc
Simonsig Estate, acclaimed Stellenbosch producer of some of the world’s finest expressions of Chenin Blanc, has received the highest recognition for its Chenin Avec Chêne in two wine challenges, one local and one international, all in one month.
The latest 2009 vintage of this lightly wooded, eloquent Chenin blanc scored the highest 5-star rating in the Grand Chenin: Loire vs South Africa Tasting organised by Eno WorldWine – one of the oldest and most popular German wine online publications. Out of a database of 50 000 wines from both regions, the Simonsig Chenin Avec Chêne 2009 was one of nine South African Chenins to achieve 5-stars as opposed to only two French wines.
In the same month, Simonsig Chenin Avec Chêne 2009 also excelled on home turf as one of four Simonsig wines to have made the cut in the inaugural 2011 Top 100 SA Wine Challenge. Sharing the Chenin Avec Chêne’s Top 100 status is Simonsig’s flagship Cap Classique, Cuvée Royale 2005, the full-bodied Cape Blend, Frans Malan 2005, and the acclaimed Redhill Pinotage 2007.
“Chenin blanc was the first wine released by my late father, Frans Malan, in 1968 and our Chenin Avec Chêne 2009 is a remarkable result of the experience of more than four decades of passionate dedication to this particular varietal,” shares Simonsig cellarmaster Johan Malan.
A slightly more serious wine than the ever-popular unwooded Simonsig Chenin Blanc, the Chenin Avec Chêne 2009 has more depth of flavour through the gentle contact with French oak without obscuring the delicious fruitiness.
Simonsig Chenin Avec Chêne 2009 was fermented in French oak barrels and spent 11 months on the lees. The result is a delicate wood integration and a silky seamless texture without compromising on fresh fruit appeal. Floral and honey notes combine perfectly with the spicy cinnamon sugar and toasty oak aromas, resulting an inviting, complex nose.
Caramelised baked apples and dried apricot and pear flavours coat the palate and the delicately handled oak enhances the depth of flavour. A distinct mineral character leaves a fresh finish and balances the slight sweetness of the fruit, described by Johan as the ‘sunkissed allure’ of the wine.
This wine should be served slightly chilled and is delicious as an aperitif or when enjoyed with rich, ripe creamy cheeses, seafood and spicy Thai dishes.
The Simonsig Chenin Avec Chêne 2009 retails from R135 per bottle and is available directly from the estate or at fine wine outlets countrywide.