Frans Smit

“Respect what the vineyard hands you,” is Spier Cellar Master Frans Smit’s mantra. This passionate commitment for creating wines that are authentically and vividly expressive of their terroir has seen Frans amass an impressive list of awards both at home and abroad.

Under his guidance the Spier team earned six Double Golds and 9 Golds at the 2017 Veritas Awards, where the Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2015 won the inaugural Veritas Vertex Award. The following year, Spier was named the 2018 South African Producer of the Year at the International Wine & Spirit Competition, where the Spier 21 Gables Sauvignon Blanc 2017 won the Sauvignon Blanc Trophy and the Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2016 won the Chenin Blanc Trophy.

A hands-on approach to winemaking sees Frans in the cellar most days tasting out of barrel and tank to check the development of the wines. Mid-palate weight is seen by Frans as the most important feature of a premium quality wine; while ability to age is a key prerequisite in the Frans K Smit, his eponymous flagship blend. All is lost however without superior grape quality – this in turn depending on the caliber of the vines. Endless hours are spent in consultation with his team identifying and maintaining vineyards that consistently produce excellent yields. “It all happens in the vineyard,” he says. “We carefully select the region and the growing blocks. There’s a deep reverence for what’s brought to the table in the harvest basket. This is the big thing: not tampering with natural process – but helping it along.”

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Auction Wines

Spier Frans K Smit Auction Selection 2017

60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine of Origin Stellenbosch

The grapes were hand-picked, destemmed and hand-sorted before fermentation. The wine was naturally fermented in a 400 litre roller barrel and an open top wood fermenter. Maturation for 22 months in barrel before being bottled.

Tasting Notes: It’s a silky textured concentrated wine with hints of blackberry and black cherry. The wine has a dense core with beautiful fresh tones of red fruit lingering on the palate. This is the first Certified Organic Red Wine to be offered on the CWG Auction. Biodynamic principles were used in both farming and winemaking processes.

Ready for drinking now and until 2032.

Auction Year: 2020

Spier Wines Frans K Smit Auction Selection 2010, 2011, 2013

Wine of Origin Helderberg, Stellenbosch

One lot only – 6 bottles (6 x 750ml) comprising two bottles of each of the following vintages of Spier Wines Frans K Smit Auction Selection: 2010, 2011, 2013.

Frans K Smit Auction Reserve 2010 (2 x 750ml bottles)
40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc
Dense, detailed, and focused, with layers of red currant, blood orange, plum and blackberry fruit lined with racy graphite and singed spice notes. Awarded 92 points by Wine Spectator.
Drink 8-10 years from harvest.
This wine was previously sold on the 2013 CWG Auction. 
Alc: 14.62    RS 3.1    TA 5.7    pH 3.6

Frans K Smit Auction Selection 2011 (2 x 750ml bottles)
47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc
2011 was a cooler year which allowed us to increase the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon - adding softer, fresher, long-lasting tannins. Awarded 5 stars in John Platter Wine Guide and 92 points by Wine Spectator.
Drink 8-10 years from harvest.
This wine was previously sold on the 2015 CWG Auction.
Alc: 14.38    RS 4.0    TA 5.2    pH 3.5

Frans K Smit Auction Selection 2013 (2 x 750ml bottles)
52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc
The balance and refined elegance of this blend, with its long finish, is a result of a textbook-perfect growing season. A discernible blackcurrant and dark fruit presence on the palate, with the barest traces of cigar box.
Drink 10 years from harvest.
This wine was previously sold on the 2017 CWG Auction.
Alc: 14.62    RS 3.1    TA 5.6    pH 3.6

This wine has been supplied by the winemaker, stored in their cellar since the year of Auction.

This wine is packed in a wooden box.

Auction Year: 2020

Spier Farm House Organic Chenin Blanc 2017

Naturally skin fermented Chenin Blanc from 35-year-old dry land Chenin Blanc vineyards. The grapes were harvested at full ripeness and fermented in an older French oak barrel. The wine was bottled with almost no sulphur addition.

Tasting Notes: Bright, golden, yellow hues with butterscotch, apricots and hints of citrus on the nose. A rich mouth-watering palate precedes a lingering crisp finish. Pairs well with butter chicken or pork belly.

Auction Year: 2019

Frans K Smit 20 Year Celebration 2015

The grapes were hand-picked, destemmed and hand-sorted before fermentation. Vintage 2015 was a special year where very little interference and soft extraction in the winemaking process was required. The wine was naturally fermented in 400 litre roller barrels. After 12 months of barrel maturation, the wine was blended and returned to barrel for 12 more
months.

Tasting Notes: Dark edged, this wine shows prominent ripe blackcurrant on the nose with hints of cassis and spicy undertones. It is full bodied with layers of fruit and spice and a well-integrated tannin structure. 50 cases of this wine were previously sold on the 2018 Auction.

Auction Year: 2019

Spier Frans K Smit 20 Year Celebration 2015

Grapes were hand-picked, destemmed and hand sorted before fermentation. Vintage 2015 was a special year where very little interference and soft extraction in the winemaking process was required. The wine was naturally fermented in 400 litre roller barrels. After 12 months of barrel maturation, the wine was blended and returned to barrel for 12 more months.

Auction Year: 2018

Spier Auction Selection Frans K Smit 2013

The grapes were hand-picked, destemmed and hand-sorted before fermentation in 400
litre roller barrels. Left for extended skin contact over a period of 40 days, the wine was
pressed and transferred to French oak barrels for maturation of 24 months.

Auction Year: 2017

Spier Frans K Smit Auction Selection 2011

This Five Star John Platter wine was fermented in 400 litre roller barrels and a 1000 litre
open top fermenter, followed by 24 months in barrel maturation. A light egg fining rounded
off the tannin structure.

Auction Year: 2016

Spier Frans K Smit Auction Selection 2011

This wine was fermented in 400 litre roller barrels and a 1 000 litre open top fermenter,
followed by 24 months in barrel maturation. A light egg fining rounded off the tannin
structure.

Auction Year: 2015

Spier Auction Reserve Frans K Smit 2010

This wine was fermented in 400 litre roller barrels and a 1000 litre open top fermenter, followed by 24 months barrel maturation. A light egg white fining rounded off the tannin structure. Tasting Notes: Dark edged, this wine shows prominent ripe blackcurrant on the nose with hints of cassis and spicy undertones. It is full-bodied with layers of fruit and spice and a well-integrated tannin structure.

Auction Year: 2014

Spier Auction Reserve Frans K Smit 2010

This wine was fermented in 400 litre roller barrels and a 1000 litre open top fermenter, followed by 24 months barrel maturation. A light egg white fining rounded off the tannin structure. Tasting Notes: Dark-edged, this wine shows prominent ripe blackcurrant on the nose with hints of cassis and spicy undertones. It is full-bodied with layers of fruit and spice and a well-integrated tannin structure.

Auction Year: 2013

Spier Pinotage 2009

The grapes are picked from vineyards planted on a south easterly facing slope within a 4.8 km proximity to the ocean. Tasting Notes: An intense, ruby coloured wine which shows inviting aromas of cherry, well-matured oak spice and hints of tobacco. The palate is beautifully structured and creamy in texture. Will gain additional complexity with cellaring.

Auction Year: 2012

Spier Merlot 2009

The grapes are picked from a vineyard planted on a north westerly slope, 120 metres above sea level. The grapes were harvested at full ripeness. Picked in 10kg lug boxes and pre-cooled to 8 degrees C prior to crushing. Hand sorting of the bunches was followed by de-stemming, berry sorting and then crushing. Fermentation was in open French oak fermenters. Malolactic fermentation took place in barrel, followed by 22 months barrel maturation before bottling. Tasting Notes: The wine shows aromas of cherry, berries and smoky spice with an undertone of savoury earthiness and subtle mint chocolate. The wine is rich and complex with a silky mid - palate and long, lingering finish.

Auction Year: 2012

Spier Merlot 2009

100% Merlot The grapes are picked from a vineyard planted on a North Westerly slope at 120 metres above sea level. The grapes were harvested at full ripeness. Picked in 10 kg lug boxes and pre-cooled to 8 degrees C prior to crushing. Hand sorting of the bunches was followed by de-stemming, berry sorting and then crushing. Fermentation took place in open French oak fermenters. Malolactic fermentation happened in barrel, followed by 22 months barrel maturation before bottling. Tasting note: The wine shows aromas of cherry, berries and smoky spice with an undertone of savoury earthiness and subtle mint chocolate. The wine is rich and complex with a silky mid-palate and long lingering finish. Drink now or within the next 8 to 10 years.

Auction Year: 2011

Spier Pinotage 2009

100% Pinotage The grapes are picked from vineyards planted on a South Easterly facing slope within a 4.8 km proximity to the ocean. Tasting note: An intense ruby coloured wine which shows inviting aromas of cherry, well-matured oak spice and hints of tobacco. The palate is beautifully structured and creamy in texture. The wine will gain additional complexity with cellaring. Drink now or for the next 8 to 10 years.

Auction Year: 2011

Spier Merlot 2008

The grapes were picked from a vineyard planted on a north-westerly slope at 120 metres above sea level. The grapes were harvested at full ripeness. Picked in 10 kg lug boxes, the grapes were pre-cooled to 8 degrees Celsius prior to hand sorting of the bunches followed by destemming, berry sorting and then crushing. Fermentation took place in open top French oak fermenters and Malolactic fermentation took place in barrel, followed by 22 months barrel maturation before bottling. Tasting note: The wine shows aromas of cherry, berries and smoky spice with an undertone of savoury earthiness and subtle mint chocolate. The wine is rich and complex with a dense but silky mid palate and a long, lingering finish.

Auction Year: 2010