Simonsig Cracks Second Top 10 Award, This Time It’s Chenin

The 2nd top 10 award in under two weeks. At the inaugural Standard Bank Top 10 Chenin Blanc Challenge held on 27 August,

pioneering Stellenbosch wine estate won one of the 10 awards handed to South Africa’s best Chenin Blanc wines – just a few days after Simonsig once again secured an Absa Top 10 Pinotage Trophy.

A Top 10 Chenin Blanc Award was presented to Simonsig for the Estate’s Chenin Avec Chêne 2010, Simonsig’s flagship white wine. According to the Estate’s white wine maker, Hannes Meyer, it is an enormous honour to accept this award for a wine made from a grape variety that has been a part of the Simonsig story since 1968 when patriarch Frans Malan released the farm’s first Chenin Blanc wine.

“Simonsig’s soils of weather shale are ideal for the grapes to express Chenin Blanc characteristics, as the popularity of our Chenins have shown over the past few decades,” says Meyer. “These soils give an intense, perfumed fruit, and being a wooded wine, the Avec Chêne adds a supple, muscular structure to the flavours, creating a wine of substance with excellent aging potential.

“With the surge in quality South African Chenin Blancs are currently experiencing, Simonsig is humbled by this award, especially as it is the first time the Top 10 was held. We would like to thank the Chenin Blanc Association and Standard Bank for initiating these awards as they have the potential of contributing to the excitement the wine industry and consumers are showing about Chenin Blanc.”

The Simonsig Avêc Chene 2010 was Barrel fermented in specially imported 400 litre French oak barrels and matured for 11 months. The subtle fruit requires careful handling of oak and only 30% of new wood was used to add a subtle spiciness. To add to the wine’s mouth-feel regular lees-stirring was done during the early stages of maturation.

Meyer describes the wine as having a bright, pale golden colour. “Floral and honey notes combine perfectly with the spicy cinnamon sugar and toasty oak aromas fusing in an inviting complex nose. The palate is filled with the mouth-watering flavours of baked apples, dried apricots and pears, with the typical zesty Chenin acidity adding freshness and balance,” he says. “But the most important tasting note is – the Top 10 judges liked it!”