The much-anticipated second release of the Simonsig icon wine, The Garland Cabernet Sauvignon, emphasises the features that have made 2009 one of the most lauded vintages in the Cape Winelands’ recent history.
The Garland is our first super premium wine and is made from a single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon grapes situated against the slopes of Stellenbosch’s Simonsberg Mountain, one of the leading locations when it comes to superlative red wine, and specifically Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2009 vintage was characterised by an exceptionally wet winter leading up to spring of 2008, with the soils remaining cool and wet throughout the growing season. The idyllic cooler conditions that prevailed from spring to February 2009 ensured slower ripening of fruit, and longer hang-time on the vine leading to grapes of astounding structure and complexity.
The Garland’s vines are planted in lovely red weathered granite soils, with good chunks of granite visible between the vineyards. The site is about 400 m above sea level and the vineyard is exposed to both the cold Atlantic Ocean from Table Bay as well as the sea breeze from False Bay’s side. These are perfect conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon, as the many great wines made from Simonsberg grapes have shown through the years.
In order to obtain optimal fruit quality in the harvest, a significant amount of bunches were removed in the early season, until only one bunch per shoot remained. The grapes were harvested by hand and kept in chilled conditions after destemming to allow good development of the berry flavours. Inoculation with a Bordeaux yeast strain followed and after fermentation the maceration lasted a further 11 days.
The wine was then matured in new tight-grain French oak for 22 months before bottling, after which it was given more time to develop in the bottle.
According to cellar master Johan Malan the wine exhibits ripe black currant fruit with perfumed high notes of black cherries, as well as a hint of truffle and lead pencil. The potpourri of layered flavours opens in the glass, showing potential to develop magnificently with careful cellaring. Although the current vintage has already matured for seven years, it will continue to develop until it reaches its peak between 2019-2023.