Simonsig Cuvee Royale 1992

Pale grapefruit yellow with very fine persistant bubbles dancing to the surface. Fresh Chardonnay citrus notes with delicate fresh almond aromas at the back. The smooth creamy mousse refreshes the palate for the clean toasty biscuit flavour which highlights the long maturation in the bottle. The finish is sophisticated and dry leaving the palate calling for more.

Lively inspiring wines like the Cuvée Royale should be enjoyed with light delicate foods like fish, shellfish, crayfish, caviar or artichoke hearts. Fresh succulent oysters are compulsory. At the end of a meal Cuvée Royale will make an ideal partner for freshdesserts like fruit salad or sorbets. Or simply on its own just to celebrate a magic moment! Serve at 10ºC. Do not overchill.

variety : Chardonnay [ 84% Chardonnay, 16% Pinot Noir ]
winemaker : Johan Malan
wine of origin : Stellenbosch
analysis : alc : 11.43 % vol  rs : 3.91 g/l  pH : 3.14  ta : 7.2 g/l  
type : Sparkling  
pack : Bottle  

ageing : Our experience with this style of wine showed that further maturation for 1 to 3 years adds richness to the evolution. The nutty smoky and honey flavours will increase in intensity.

in the vineyard : Frans Malan the patriarch of the Malan family of Simonsig Wine Estate pioneered Methode Champenoise in South Africa in 1971 when the first Kaapse Vonkel was made. For many years he was the only winemaker to do bottle fermented sparkling wine in the Cape. In 1990 Johan Malan travelled to Champagne on a study tour. He came back with the dream of making a Prestige Cuvée with the elegance and finesse of a pure Chardonnay based Blanc de Blancs style.

Chardonnay is the noble variety which lends the delicacy, lightness and freshness to the Cuvée. It is also the slowest developer of the 3 classic Champagne varieties and this gives the wine excellent ageing ability. A small quantity of Pinot noir adds roundness, body and a touch of red grape depth of fruit.

The summer of 1992 started off with cool nights and early morning dew during December and January. The cool conditions caused slow ripening of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir giving it enough time for flavour development. The 1992 vintage was one of the best ever for Cap classique at Simonsig Estate.

about the harvest: Handpicked grapes are transported to the cellar in small picking boxes to preserve the freshness and deliver the berries intact into the press.

in the cellar : The heart of Cap Classique lies with the gentle whole bunch pressing which yields only the purest and most delicate juice called the cuvée. For Cuvée Royale only the first most delicate pressing is used. The first fermentation is done in tank under controlled temperature. Blending takes place at the end of winter and it is only after many tastings that the final decision is made. Sugar and a special yeast is added before bottling and then the wine goes through a slow second fermentation in the bottle. The yeast performs the magic of transforming the sugar into billions of bubbles. Cuvée Royale spends at least seven years on the yeast lees and during this slow evolution the beautiful elegant flavours develops.

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