Renowned Stellenbosch winery Simonsig has released long-awaited 2018 vintage red wines in its Cultivar Range, a sought-after collection that showcases some of South Africa’s most outstanding terroir.
“The vineyards that produced these wines were selected and managed precisely because of their ability to express what Stellenbosch is all about,” says Michael Malan, third-generation winemaker at Simonsig who heads up red wine production.
Our aim with them has always been to create an accessible, premium quality wine and that is what the 2018 vintage has delivered.
The wines just released by Simonsig include:
- Mr Borio’s Shiraz 2018, a wine with fragrant notes of raspberry and blackcurrant that flows onto the palate, followed by a hint of violet and oak spice. The wine has supple tannins with a pleasant dry finish and crunchy acidity. Dishes that will pair well include mushrooms stuffed with ham or bacon; a hamburger with monkey-gland sauce; cottage or venison pie; braaied or chargrilled ribs or cutlets; and, meaty pizza.
- Simonsig Pinotage 2018, which shows a dark berry perfume with subtle notes of liquorice and sweet spice. On the palate, there’s raspberry, black cherry, and strawberry compote with a backdrop of zippy acidity and soft, well-rounded tannin. It makes a good accompaniment to hearty pastas and sundried tomato stew; game dishes such as ostrich steak, springbok or kudu carpaccio; or, traditional grilled meats.
- An additional release will soon see the duo joined by the Labyrinth Cabernet Sauvignon 2018.
All three wines have amassed a popular following while also consistently being singled out at leading wine shows.
These include Wine magazine’s Shiraz Special Report bestowing 94 points on Mr Borio’s Shiraz 2017; and, UK Master of Wine Tim Atkin awarding 90 points to the Simonsig Pinotage 2017.
“The 2018 wines stand out for me because of the purity of fruit, concentration of flavours and tannins while still being very elegant in style,” says Michael.
“The 2018 vintage was the last and driest of three drought years. This in itself required some out-of-the-box thinking on viticulture and winemaking. What we lost in rainfall however, we made up in super healthy fruit because of low disease pressure during the growing and ripening season. The vines produced smaller berries, which led to great concentration in the wines.”
Remarking on the three-year release window, Michael says the range was conceived with the intention to send them to market when they were ready to be enjoyed. The timeline isn’t set in stone. Rather, the winemaking team reaches a decision based on taste, at the point in the wine’s development.
“The wines are very accessible now. Though still at a young stage, they will continue to improve with time in bottle.”
The featured trio and more – including large size bottles and older vintages – are available for sale from the online store at www.simonsig.co.za.
The wines’ older compatriots will also feature at Simonsig’s Vintage Wine Sale.
- A two-day event scheduled to take place once again at the farm, on August 27 and 28. These include the Mr Borio’s Shiraz 2011, 2012 and 2014; Pinotage 2009 and 2012; and, Labyrinth Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, 2014 and 2015.
The sale is an annual event that makes Simonsig’s older vintage wines available for tasting and purchase, as well as the opportunity for visitors to engage with the winemaking team. Visitor capacity will be limited in line with lockdown regulations.
Directions to Simonsig
The winery is located on the Kromme Rhee Road, Koelenhof, Stellenbosch.