On the front gable of the Groot Constantia Manor House, rebuilt after a fire in the 1920s, is a statue, the Lady of Abundance. How appropriate that the Estate should name its new release, Groot Constantia Lady of Abundance 2017. This sublime wine, for this vintage, has a foundation of Pinotage. 34% of South Africa’s own grape forms part of the blend with the balance made up of 33% Shiraz, 32% Merlot and 1% Grenache Noir. Each vintage will pay tribute to the Estate’s vineyards with grapes being selected by our winemaker to make the best blend from the different blending components that each year offers, the the blend will change from year to year, this, for me makes the whole thing more exciting.
The vines from which the grapes are harvested are planted in mainly Glen Rosa and Cartref. They are all on south and south east facing vineyards. The wines were all separately vinified with regular pump overs 4 times a day for perfect extraction. The wines then spent 14 months in French Oak Barrels, 10% of which were new while the balance was made up of 35% 2nd fill, 35% 3rd fill and 20% 4th fill barrels. As always, Boela Gerber gets the blending spot on and produces a truly delicious partner to the rest of the Estate’s range.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. The label is classical Groot Constantia, clearly showing the gable and the statue after which this wine is named. The bottle also has the Constantia logo embossed in glass just below the neck. In the glass, the wine is a deep bloodplum red at the heart, which pales out to ruby at the edges. The aromas are of red and black fruits, berries, plums with an undertow of oak and its concomitant spices. Lovely line of acidity from entry, interwoven in the generous mid-palate with the fruit and the very accessible tannins and into the long and gently waning aftertaste. I was surprised at the accessibility of this wine despite its youth. It will reward with a couple of years of cool cellaring.
The lovely spice in the Groot Constantia Lady of Abundance 2017 and the generosity of the fruit lend themselves to a classical South African Bredie. The correct translation of Bredie is Stew, but somehow, a Bredie talks of heritage food, of Grandma’s cooking, taken out of a wood fired oven. Alida Ryder’s Tomato Bredie, is a perfect example of a well thought out recipe with maximum flavour. Click HERE for her recipe.
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