Johan Malan of Simonsig in Stellenbosch has released two white wines broadly inspired by the Rhône under the The Grapesmith label and, once again, they suggest that the associated varieties have a bright future locally well suited to warmer and drier conditions as they are. Tasting notes and ratings as follows:
The Grapesmith Die Kluisenaar 2016
60% Roussanne, 40% Marsanne. Matured for 12 months in older oak before blending. A top note of hay before lemon, orange and peach plus some leesy complexity on the nose. The palate is full but balanced – great fruit concentration and fresh acidity before a long, dry finish. A slight bitterness adds interest. Alcohol: 14.4%. Not sure how this differs from the wine of the same name sold at the CWG auction in 2017 and 2018 which have always impressed but great to see such a wine gain a broader audience.
Editor’s rating: 94/100.
The Grapesmith Mediterraneo 2016
57% Roussanne, 37% Marsanne, 5% Grenache Blanc and 1% Verdelho. Matured for 12 months in older oak before blending. A subtle and alluring nose of herbs, pear, white peach, apple and lemon plus a hint of vanilla. Medium bodied and well balanced – clean fruit, fresh acidity and a gently savoury finish. Alcohol: 14.3%. Seems a little unresolved at this stage – another 12 months in bottle should be beneficial.
Editor’s rating: 92/100.
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