Growing grapes has always been a challenge. In the past three years, the changing conditions in vineyards have made it even more difficult. Winemakers and vineyard managers the world over are adapting to a dryer and hotter growing season. South Africa’s Simsonsig is an example of taking advantage of the development to make better wine.
This Chenin is one of the more successful I’ve seen from Simonsig in recent years. The drought resulted in less fruit but the overall higher quality of grapes: the harvest team had to work round the clock to harvest each block of fruit. It was a feat of timing: in the dry heat, they only had a few hours before the brix (sugar levels) jumped too high, and the acid levels dipped too low.
This charismatic bottle is pure and deep with tree fruits and melons. Guava, honeydew, peaches, and pears are present. A bright lemon acidity keeps the slight richness in balance and notes minerality to the charming finish.