Groot Constantia Merlot 2017

Groot Constantia was founded in 1685 and is situated in the heart of the Constantia Wine Appellation. Here Floricious Beukes, Vineyardist and Boela Gerber, Winemaker, ply their trades to produce a fine range of wines.

Boela Gerber & Floricius Beukes

The grapes for the Groot Constantia Merlot 2017 grow in deep red clay soil to red-brown loamy soil, both decomposed granite. Vineyard actions like pruning, canopy management and harvesting are done by hand by Floricius and his team. Pest control is done biologically, and soil health and weed control are managed by a selected mix of winter cover crops. In the cellar after fermentation the wine lies on the skins for two weeks for maximum extraction before pressing and being taken to 225 litre French oak barrels, of which 60% were new, the balance were previous fill barrels. H wie was then prepared for bottling.

Boela in the Groot Constantia Barrel Celar

From a Bordeaux shaped bottle and closed with natural cork. The label is French Chateau in style, with an etching of the Manor House. In the glass, the colour of the wine is a deep bloodplum at the heart which pales out to ruby at the edges. The aromas are classical Merlot, soft black berries, cherries and plums. These, as ripe fruit, segue on to the rich soft and generous palate where the wine flows gently into a long and beautifully balanced aftertaste. The undertow of the well brushed oak and its concomitant spice and vanilla and the soft make this an eminently drinkable wine. A couple of years of cool cellaring will reward you.

Michael’s Mushrooms for Steak

The Groot Constantia Merlot 2017 is in a style that in South Africa makes Merlot the most requested wine by the glass in South African Restaurants and Wine Bars. Excellent as a sipping wine and brilliant with food. A perfect piece of steak with my Mushroom Sauce, is a great match.

Michael’s Mushrooms for Steak

What you’ll need
2 Tbs butter
250g small mushrooms, like Portabellinis, washed and thinly sliced
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
80ml cream
Worcestershire Sauce
3 Tbs finely chopped parsley

What you”ll do
In a small nonstick frying pan, melt the butter, add the mushrooms and over medium heat cook the mushrooms until all th moisture is driven off. Brown them gently. Season well with the Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the cream. Add a couple of shakes of the Worcestershire Sauce and the parsley. Cook for a sort while to reduce the cream. Upend the pan and place the mushrooms on top of the steak.

I served this with boiled potatoes, sliced and fried in duck fat.

Click HERE to listen to my Podcast about the Groot Constantia Merlot 2017

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The pediment above the old cellar door

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