South African Sparklers: Simonsig Wine Estate MCC

A couple of years ago we wrote about the success of South Africa in producing its Champagne-style wines called Method Cap Classique (MCC). One especially successful producer is the Simonsig Wine Estate. In addition to its MCCs, this winery is best known for its Redhill Pinotage, Merindol Syrah, and Tiara red blend. We’ll be tasting all these wines and more as part of our comprehensive report on the Wines of South Africa, to be issued later this year.

Simonsig is especially well known for its MCC. Indeed, Frans Malan, the founder of Simonsig, was also a pioneer in producing sparkling wines using the methode champenoise back in 1971. Simonsig’s tete de cuvee is its Cuvée Royale MCC that spends about 5 years sur lie. Unfortunately, we don’t have access to that wine here in the States, but we were able to taste the Simonsig 2007 Kaapse Vonkel Brut. Here’s our tasting note on that wine:

Simonsig 2007 Kaapse Vonkel Brut Western Cape

This blend of 58% Pinot Noir, 39% Chardonnay, and 3% Pinot Meunier offers aromas of yeasty bread, herbs and orchard fruit. The well-balanced and round, creamy palate richly flavored, finishing with a refreshing crispness and notes of blanched almonds and citrus. Delicious. The winery says the herbal note in the wine comes from a high altitude vineyard in the Helschoogte area. Alc 12.5%, RS 8.6 g/l, TA 7.9 g/l.

Simonsig’s US importer is Quintessential Wines of Napa, CA

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