SIMONSIG’S CHENIN BLANC LEGACY TO ENDURE WITH A NEW LOOK AND STATUS

by | Apr 20, 2023

Celebrated Stellenbosch wine estate Simonsig has unveiled the latest vintage of its award-winning barrel-fermented Chenin Blanc. The 2022 vintage of this wine has ushered in a new era for Chenin Blanc at Simonsig as their first wine to gain official Old Vine status.

Formerly known as Simonsig Chenin Avec Chêne, this single vineyard Chenin Blanc has been renamed Langbult Steen and given a refreshed look to commemorate this historic milestone in the wine’s evolution. Staying true to terroir, it takes its name from the vineyard site tended to by three generations of the Malan family.

“Langbult translates to ‘long hill’ and literally describes the vineyard’s layout,” says Michael Malan, Simonsig cellarmaster and third-generation winemaker. “The vines grow there in ancient, weathered shale soils and are robust and resilient. Time has made it one with the elements, and all of this is gloriously expressed through the fruit.”

As was the case with the Chenin Avec Chêne, the Langbult Steen is part of Simonsig’s Stellenbosch Terroir Selection range that includes Tiara, Frans Malan Cape Blend, Redhill Pinotage and Merindol Syrah. “This collection truly reflects the essence of Stellenbosch’s terroir, each wine meticulously handcrafted with the utmost care and attention to detail,” adds Michael.

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The maiden vintage of Langbult Steen was characterised by healthy grapes and an outstanding growing season. The cellarmaster describes the wine as having complex aromas of orange blossom, melon and dried apricot complemented by a hint of ginger spice. It has a complex palate with tangy acidity that carries the flavours of white pear, lime and green apple. The wine has a beautiful minerality, but not without a light creamy texture from the lees contact in barrel.

This highly lauded wine has repeatedly impressed judges at leading wine shows in South Africa and abroad. Among its top achievements, the Chenin Blanc from the Langbult Steen vineyard received 91 points from UK Master of Wine Tim Atkin, 4½ stars from Platter’s South African Wine Guide, Double Gold from the Veritas Awards as well as being one of the winners in the prestigious Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge.

This wine is a testament to decades of hands-on experience, an intimate understanding of the land, and a long history with Chenin Blanc. This year marks the estate’s 55th consecutive vintage with this iconic cultivar. In fact, the first wine ever to be bottled under the Simonsig label by founder Frans Malan in 1968 was a Chenin Blanc – known and labelled as “Steen” at the time.

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Frans went on to become the pioneer of South African Cap Classique when, soon after his success with Chenin Blanc, he produced the first wine of this style – the iconic Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel – in 1971. Michael now continues this legacy of innovation and excellence at Simonsig, following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father Johan Malan.

This exceptional wine is the result of the perfect balance between place, passion and heritage. An intimate knowledge of this remarkable terroir and artisanal winemaking philosophy are embodied as the true spirit of Stellenbosch Steen.

The Langbult Steen old vine Chenin Blanc sells for R235/bottle through Simonsig’s online shop and cellar door. The wine is also available at specialised wine retailers and select restaurants.

To learn more about this fine wine visit www.simonsig.co.za/langbultsteen/ and join the conversation at @SimonsigWines on Facebook and Instagram.

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I’m just a girl who loves new beauty products, alternating between being a blonde and a brunette, travel tips, parenting hacks, eating out, and having fun!

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