Groot Constantia Pinotage 2018, perfect with Dianne Bibby’s Ottolenghi’s Ricotta & Oregano Meatballs…

Groot Constantia Pinotage 2018

As a Capetonian, if you have not yet visited Groot Constantia, get it on the top of your bucket list, as a holiday maker, it should be there too. The place itself is so steeped in the history of the South African Wine Industry and has been for so long, that I regard it as the cradle of wine in South Africa. From the time of Simon van der Stel, important wines have been made there, putting Constantia Wine on the world stage. Van der Stel’s mantle lies lightly in the shoulders of the talented, multi award winning Boela Gerber and his team in the Cellar and Floricius Beukes, the Viticulturist in the Vineyards. Boela once told me that ‘Flo’ took no time in getting to know the vineyards and that with clever management, he had made a huge difference in the vineyards with clever management of the vines. The Groot Constantia Pinotage 2018 is a tribute to these two young men and their teams.

Boela Gerber with another of his awards – this time for his MCC

The grapes used are all Pinotage, the truly South African red wine grape created in the late 1920, by crossing Pinot Noir and Hermitage, now known as Cinsaut. The grapes grow on Glenrosa and Cartref soils on South and South East facing slopes. Cooling breezes from the Benguela Current in the Atlantic Ocean trickle down the Constantia Mountain ameliorating the summer heat and allowing for longer ripening and thus greater flavour and colour in the wine. Once harvested, the grapes are brought to the cellar where they are destemmed and crushed and then fermented with 4 pump overs per day to gently extract colour, flavour and gentle tannins. The wine then spent 14 months in 40% new French oak barrels, 20% in 2nd and 20% 3rd and 20% 4th fill barrels. It was then prepared for bottling,

Pinotage grapes ripening on the vine

From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed with natural cork and red foiling. The label is classical, an engraving of the Manor House and traditional lettering. In the glass, it is a rich bloodplum at the heart which pales out to purple ruby at the edges.  The aromas are of bright red and black cherries and berries, in particular for me, mulberries and roadside brambles. All these are repeated, with generosity on the palate underlined by a golden thread of acidity from entry to the long and gently waning aftertaste. In support are the fine tannins and the oak with its concomitant spice, vanilla and dark chocolate. A very impressive glass. While eminently drinkable now, the wine will reward you after a couple of years of cool cellaring.

Dianne Bibby’s Ottolenghi’s Ricotta & Oregano Meatballs

The Groot Constantia Pinotage 2018 is a fine wine and a perfect partner to a well-prepared dish. Perfect partners are spicy traditional South African dishes like Spicy Boerewors off the braai, a good Tomato Bredie and a slow cooked Lamb curry with gentle Bo-Kaap spices and soft sundried tomatoes. Dianne Bibby’s Ottolenghi’s Ricotta & Oregano Meatballs. Click HERE for her recipe.

Dianne Bibby’s book, released at the end of last year

Click the red arrow on the left to listen to my 60 second podcast about Groot Constantia Pinotage 2018.

Read more about Groot Constantia Wine Estate and buy wine online – CLICK HERE

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