Simonsig Chenin Blanc

December 9, 2007

I like wines from South Africa. They are consistent quality, never bad, though I must admit never jump out as the best wines either. Most of them are super drinkable, every day table wines at a decent price. I realize there are very expensive South African wines, but I think what South Africa is really best at is to produce decent table wines for the mass market.

South African wines are somewhere between new world and old world. Wine tradition goes back to the 1600s so one cannot really call this new world. On the other hand, the style is more reminiscent of new world wines, perhaps a bit less fruit bombish, more sophisticated. One such example is the Chenin Blanc, 2007 from Simonsig. Chenin Blanc is originally from the Loire Valley of France, but it is heavily planted in the new world, including South Africa. Simonsig’s is a beautiful fresh Chenin fully of tropical fruit, pineapple, guava, pears and a backdrop of green apples that shows through the acidity. Really smooth white wine with a big bouquet. At this price I think it is difficult to find a better table wine.

The winery produces a large variety, including the infamous Pinotage (a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault) , South Africa’s unique varietal. I recommend sticking to their Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc, though.

Name: Simonsig Chenin Blanc, 2007

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Body: Medium to Full

Price: 6.50 euros

Got it at: Rothschild Supermarket, Budapest, Hungary

Simonsig Chenin Blanc, 2007