One day I will ask Boela Gerber, the Winemaker at Groot Constantia, whether Wine Making is an Art or a Craft. The perennial question. I believe it is both. The craft is what happens from the time the grapes arrive in the cellar and you go through the practices required to turn them into fine wine. At this he is a master. The many Awards he has won attest to this. The Groot Constantia Constantia Rood 2016 is an artfully put together blend. It is made up of Merlot 51%, Pinotage 22%, Cabernet Franc 6%, Shiraz 13%, Petit Verdot 2%, Cabernet Sauvignon 4%, Tannat 1% and Grenache Noir 1%. To put these components together as a sublime wine, must take all your senses, well perhaps not hearing.
The grapes for the Groot Constantia Constantia Rood 2016 grow on vineyards with a variety of soils. Glenrosa, Clovelly, Avalon, Hutton and Cartref. The blocks all face south to south east. Once in the cellar, the grapes are separately vinified with 4 hourly pump overs during fermentation.
The different varietal wines were aged separately for 12 months in 18% 1st fill French Oak barrels, 25% 2nd fill, 14% 3rd fill and 43% 4th fill barrels. Here Boela’s art of winemaking kicks in, the blending of the components to make a sum greater than its parts. The wine is then prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle closed under natural cork. The bottle has the Constantia Logo embossed in the glass just at the neck, indicating that the grapes are of Constantia Origin. The label is classic Groot Constantia with an etching of the Manor House. In the glass, the wine is a deep bloodplum red at the heart which pales out to ruby at the edges. From entry, a golden thread of fruit acidity runs through into the long satisfying aftertaste. This wine is a laster and with cool cellaring will reward you in the future.
My opinion? Definitely a food wine, or that after dinner bottle for serious philosophical discussion. Ina Paarman’s Shin & Oxtail Beef Potjie is the perfect partner for the Groot Constantia Constantia Rood 2016. Click here for this recipe.
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