Groot Constantia is one of the oldest of the Cape Wine Estates, with its own wine appellation, Constantia, which it shares with other great wineries. The centre on which the golden era of South African Wine in Europe is focussed and where Mr Cloete made wines for Europe in the 17th and early 18th centuries. Wines which were to be found in the cellars of King Frederik the Great of Prussia, William Pitt the Younger at No 10 Downing Street. Wines which were written about by Jane Eyre, Charles Dickens and Baudelaire. Wine which was sent to Napoleon Bonaparte when he was in exile on the island of St Helena. This is place of great history.
The wine making is without fault and current winemaker Boela Gerber’s many local and international awards and medals attest to this.
The vines for the Groot Constantia Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 are planted on south to south east facing blocks, in a mixture of Hutton Glenrosa and Cartref soils. Cooled by diurnal breezes off the Atlantic Ocean’s Benguela Current, and nocturnal breezes up the hill from False Bay. The grapes ripen slowly gathering up more colour, aroma and flavour as the get riper.
The grapes were hand harvested and then taken to the winery where they were destalked and fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks. The wine was matures in 60% new French oak barrels with the remainder made up of 32% 2nd fill and 8% third fill barrels. After maturation the wine was prepared for bottling.
It looks like
Elegant Bordeaux shaped, bottled under cork, the bottle has the glass embossed Constantia just below the neck. The label is classical Groot Constantia, simple elegant with an etching of the historic Manor House. In the glass the wine is a plum ruby at the core which pales out to garnet at the rim.
It smells like
Layers of fruit from red to black. Cassis. Oak and its concomitant spices.
It’s good with
If you are looking for that bottle of red wine after dinner just to finish off a happy evening, this is it. With food, it begs the Sunday Roast lunch of beef, pork or lamb and all the accompaniments of crispy rustly roast potatoes, real gravy and vegetables. However, the beef will go down as well with the wine if you serve them together as Ilse van der Merwe’s Best ever rare roast beef sandwich with mustard & aioli. Perfect midweek supper dish or a supper while watching a game on TV. Ilse, The Food Fox, is a well-known Stellenbosch food person, teacher, video maker. Click here for her recipe.