In one of the oldest Wine Appellations, Constantia, one of the oldest wine estates, Groot Constantia produces some stand out wines. Even in years of serious drought like 2018, the worst in living memory. Boela Gerber, the Estate’s Winemaker, has won many awards, for his Chardonnay amongst them. ‘Flo’ Beukes, the Estate’s Viticulturist has guided the vineyards with tender care. The cooling breezes off the Benguela Current running up our West Coast sends its cooling breezes over the Constantia Mountain to ameliorate the summer heat in the vineyards. This allows for a long hang time on the vines, slower ripening and greater flavours in the final wines. Planted in Clovelly soils, the Chardonnay vineyards are in two block and the source of the grapes for this wine.
The grapes for the Groot Constantia Chardonnay 2018 were harvested in mid-February. Once in the cellar the were destalked and then crushed. The wine was both fermented in and matured in French oak barrels for 317 days in 35% new, 40% 2nd, 11% 3rd and 14% 4th fill. Spontaneous fermentation using natural vineyard yeasts was used on 20% of the blend. Some of the barrels underwent malolactic fermentation. Frequent rolling of the barrels helped blend the lees during the maturation period of 10months to enhance the mouth feel. The wines were then blended and prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. There is a glass embossing of the word Constantia just below the neck. This indicates that grapes from the Constantia Wine Appellation were used. The label is classic Groot Constantia, an etching of the Manor House. In the glass it is a pale golden butter in colour. The aromas are those of lemons, orange blossom water and oak and its concomitant spices. The flavours are again of citrus, windfall oranges and sweet tropical limes with an undertow of caramel. The aftertaste is a perfect interweaving of all the components, beautiful balance. With a couple of years of cool cellaring, you will be rewarded amply. This one is a laster.
This is a perfect food wine. Don’t serve it too chilled, remember it is a white wine pretending to be a red wine! I always feel that Chicken and Chardonnay are meant for each other. In my search for greater flavour, I have a recipe for you, Anina Meyer’s Chicken Teriyaki Salad, perfect with the Groot Constantia Chardonnay 2018. Click HERE for her recipe.
Listen to my 60 second podcast on Fine Music Radio – CLICK HERE
Read more about Groot Constantia Estate – CLICK HERE