Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Five stars for Frans

Five stars for Frans

26 November 2010 by Spier Wine Estate

Spier's flagship wine named after Cellar Master Frans K. Smit get a 5-star rating.

We are proud to announce that Spier's Frans K. Smit 2006 vintage has been awarded 5 stars by the prestigious John Platter Wine Guide 2011. Spier's Cape Winemakers Guild Merlot 2008 and its Private Collection Chenin Blanc both received 4½ stars.

The John Platter Wine Guide is internationally recognised as South Africa's leading consumer wine handbook. It is an authoritative reference guide that covers all aspects of wine in the country, giving ratings and tasting notes for thousands of local wines. Of the 58 5-star rated wines, 30 were white and 28 were red.

The previous vintage of Frans K. Smit(2005) was also rated 5 stars in last year's Platter guide, and this wine is still available for sale. Frans will only release the 2006 vintage to the market when he feels it is ready.

"The 2006 growing season proved to be the coolest of the three vintages so far," says Frans. "This led to the production of a blend with very fresh natural acidity. The deep purple-red colour of the wine is testament to this, as are the strong tannins - both of which indicate that this particular vintage will age incredibly well."

True to his belief in the role of consistency, Frans looked to the same vineyards he had used in previous years. The chosen grape varieties were aged in French oak barriques for 16 months before the first tasting and re-tasting took place, and then another 27 months to gauge the aging potential of the wine.

The final blend shows more diversity than the preceding year, largely due to the cooler ripening phase. At 29%, Cabernet Sauvignon from Stellenbosch and Darling still sits at the heart of the blend, while Paarl's exceptional Shiraz makes up a further 21%. The remaining 50% is made up of equal parts of Cabernet franc, Pinotage, Malbec and Merlot.