Simonsig Merindol Syrah 2002 scoops gold at Fairbairn

Tuesday, 15 June, 2004
Leanne Loots
One of only three Shiraz contenders to secure gold in this year's competition. 

Simonsig, one of South Africa’s leading producers of Shiraz wines, has shown its prowess at the prestigious 2004 Fairbairn Capital Trophy Wine Awards by scooping a Gold Medal with its Merindol Syrah 2002.

Judged by an extraordinary line-up of some of the world’s best-known wine authorities, the premium oak matured Simonsig Merindol Syrah 2002 was one of only three Shiraz contenders to secure gold and one of a mere 18 gold medallists overall at the country’s most authoritative national wine competition.

Six other Simonsig wines were awarded medals, including the Bordeaux blend flagship, Simonsig Tiara 2002 which received a Silver Medal.

Simonsig Merindol Syrah 2002 has an impressive lineage of highly acclaimed Shiraz wines that have been winning awards vintage after vintage since 1997. Both the Merindol Syrah 2000 and 2001 are double gold Veritas winners and the 2001 also won a Michelangelo double gold award, while the 1998 and the 1999 vintages were awarded gold medals at both wine competitions.

The Simonsig Merindol Syrah 2002 is made with a 100% Shiraz grapes from a selected single vineyard site. This full-bodied wine boasting a rich, ripe tannin structure, has concentrated Shiraz aromas of crushed peppercorns, dried proteas and fynbos combined with perfumed black berries on the nose.

'Amongst sweat and science lies the magical Simonsig Shiraz touch, while the terroir in our area, the Koelenhof region near Stellenbosch, embraces this variety to the full extent,' says Simonsig viticulturist Francois Malan, who over the past decade has replanted Shiraz vineyards with the best new virus-free Shiraz clones available.

The Fairbairn Capital accolade for the Merindol Syrah 2002 also highlights the success of Simonsig’s 2002 harvest when Shiraz was the stand out variety. 'In the 2002 vintage our grapes were exposed to very late rains which caused a high incidence of downy mildew and resulted in an extremely low yield. On the bright side, it made the wines extremely concentrated,' said Johan Malan, winemaker at Simonsig – one of South Africa’s largest established privately owned wineries. 

Johan's other Fairbairn Capital medallists this year are the Simonsig Tiara 2000, both the 2001 and 2002 vintages of the famous Cape Blend, Frans Malan Reserve, the off dry Cap Classique, Simonsig Encore 2000 and Vin de Liza 2003, the delicious Noble Late Harvest.

Despite the increased number of 951 entries from 229 wineries at this year's Fairbairn Capital Trophy Wine Show, fewer medals were awarded than in the previous year – 18 golds compared with 19 in 2003; 58 silvers against 65 and the threshold set for bronze medals was also tougher with only 293 bronze winners compared to 313. This reduced medal count suggests that standards get tougher each year as the show reflects the expectations of an increasingly demanding international market.

Issued by: Leanne Loots on behalf of Simonsig Wines

Simonsig Wines
Contact Person: Liz Greyling
Tel: (+27)21 888 4900