Wine: Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Cap Classique 2015
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Cellarmaster: Johan Malan
Winemaker: Hannes Meyer
Background: Founder of Simonsig Estate, the late Frans Malan, produced the first Cap Classique in the Cape back in 1971 and today there are well over 50 other wineries producing various styles of this French inspired bubbly!
Traditionally the grape varieties used for Champagne and Cap Classique production are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. There is, however, a third variety which is sometimes added namely Pinot Meunier, which is a red grape variety. It is similar to the Pinot Noir grape but offers an extra dimension resulting in delicious aromatic fruit flavours during the early stages of the wine. Simonsig was the first Cap Classique producer in the Cape to use all three varieties when they introduced the Pinot Meunier to their Kaapse Vonkel in 1997.
Simonsig produces a number of other fine Cap Classiques alongside the Kaapse Vonkel Brut, namely the Kaapse Vonkel Pinot Noir Brut Rose, the Kaapse Vonkel Demi-Sec and their flagship the Cuvee Royale which always performs well at the annual Amorim Cap Classique Challenge. At this year’s award ceremony, now in its 16th year, Simonsig became the most-awarded cellar in the history of the Challenge by winning the competition’s Best Producer Award for the fourth time.
I recently enjoyed the latest release of the Kaapse Vonkel Brut which is from the 2015 vintage and yet again it proved its stature within this category by delivering excellent quality and value. The blend for the 2015 is 48% Chardonnay, 49% Pinot Noir and 3% Pinot Meunier and offers a pleasing low alcohol of 12.6%.
Result: Pale straw hues entice you to take in the delicate aromas of granny smith apples with a citrusy, yeasty fragrance. Fresh and crisp palate with good acidity balancing the yeasty depth of bready flavours which gently lead to a long and smooth finish.
When to drink: now till 2025
Drink with what: Perfect wine to start off the evening but also a delightful partner with sushi.
Expect to pay: R153.00