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In Vino Veritas

A haul of seven Gold Medals made Simonsig a heavy-weight performer at this year’s Veritas Wine Awards, South Africa’s leading wine competition. In one of the most competitive Veritas competitions to date, we were awarded Golds for the Cuvée Royale 2011, Frans Malan Cape Blend 2014 and Chenin Blanc 2016. Four other Golds were won in the Museum Class for respectively Merindol Syrah 2005, Chenin Avec Chêne 2008, Chenin Avec Chêne 2010 and the Bordeaux-style red blend Tiara 2004.

This year’s Veritas Awards attracted 1 670 entries, with only 167 of the wines judged receiving a Gold medal.
Cellar master Johan Malan says the medals received were a recognition of Simonsig’s commitment to making terroir-driven wines as well as his winemaking team’s skill in ensuring this terroir is reflected in a diverse range of high quality wines.

“To win Gold medals for a wide array of wines – from Cap Classique to Chenin Blanc; Pinotage-based Cape Blend to the Tiara made from red Bordeaux varieties – shows how privileged we in Stellenbosch are to have a terroir suitable to creating a wide array of quality wines.”

The three Gold medals bestowed on Chenin Blanc can be seen as an honour to Simonsig founder Frans Malan who believed in this white variety, choosing Chenin Blanc as the wine for Simonsig’s maiden vintage in 1968.

“We are right behind the drive to get Chenin Blanc recognised as an indelible feature of the South African wine industry,” says Johan. “And as the Veritas Gold medals for Simonsig’s Museum Class Chenin Avec Chêne show, it is a variety capable of producing wines of exceptional ageability.”

The Museum Class Gold for Simonsig’s Cuvée Royale 2011 Cap Classique underscored Simonsig’s reputation for a wine style we pioneered by producing South Africa’s first bottle-fermented sparkling wine in 1971.

“Cuvée Royale 2011 proves that Cap Classique has the ability to gain complexity and character from extended lees contact and bottle ageing,” says Johan. “This category for older Cap Classiques is still new to the industry, but the quality will grow and Simonsig looks forward to being at the helm.”

What was especially telling of this year’s Veritas, says Johan, was that Simonsig was awarded for wines representative of its entire range: white, red and Cap Classique, and at various price points. “Diversity is nothing without quality throughout the spectrum, and it is fantastic that our range has achieved this accolade,” he says.