I well remember the queues of cars which parked outside the sales room at Groot Constantia in the mid 1970s lining up on Wednesdays and Saturdays to buy the scarce wines of the Estate. Groot Constantia and Cabernet Sauvignon fit together like hand in glove. Viticulturist Floricius Beukes, who has farmed the vines at Groot Constantia for more than 5 years now, understands the vineyards and is able to provide the perfect quality of grapes required by Boela Gerber, The Cellarmaster. The Groot Constantia Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 is a perfect expression of grapes from the south to south facing Cabernet blocks on the Estate, planted in a variety of Hutton, Glenrosa and Cartref soils between 54 and 102 metres above sea level. And it is the sea which has a major influence on the ripening grapes, ameliorating the summer heat in the vineyards, over the Constantia Mountains cooling breezes from the fresh Benguela Current and by nocturnal inversion breezes up from False Bay, a wonderful view of which can be seen from the Werf of the old Manor House.
Boela Gerber, the Cellarmaster is a member of the Cape Winemakers Guild, the movement to which many of the Cape’s top winemakers belong. The grapes for the Groot Constantia Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 are harvested and fermented in stainless steel tanks. After pressing the wine is matured for 14 months in 225 litre French oak barrels. Of these 34% were new and the balance made up of second, third and fourth fill barrels. After this, the wine was prepared for bottling.
It looks like
Classically bottled in a Bordeaux shaped bottle under a natural cork closure. The labelling reminiscent of some of the Bordeaux Chateaux with an enchanting etching of the Manor House. In the glass, it is a deep bloodplum red at the core which pales out to ruby at the edges.
It smells like
All the classical Cab aromas in the Groot Constantia Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Crème de Cassis, freshly sharpened pencils.
It tastes like
From entry, a generosity of fruit, full round and soft in the mid palate. The fruit is blackcurrant, blueberry, mulberry and ripe plum. Tannins are there, but gentle and well integrated with the fruit, the acidity and the oak spice in a long and gently waning aftertaste.
It’s good with
When the braai is over and you’re looking for that great bottle over which to settle the affairs of the world, perhaps with a bar of dark Belgian chocolate, this is your wine. Of course, it is perfect with food. Just perfect with red meat and fully flavoured vegetarian dishes, like rolled aubergine slices with rice and mushroom filling and rich tomato sauce. Dianne Bibby’s Smoky Joe’s Beef Fillet with lemony salsa verde is an ideal match. Click here for her recipe.
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