I always regard Groot Constantia Wine Estate in the Constantia Wine Appellation as the Cradle of the Wine Industry in the Cape. Granted in 1685 to former Governor Simon van der Stel and with a beautiful Manor House rebuilt in the 1920s after a devastating fire, vineyards running up the mountain and to the East, False Bay in the distance, it is the most perfect vineyard.
The grapes in this wine are an interesting blend made up by Boela Gerber, the Estate’s Winemaker. The blend is made up of Merlot 18%; Shiraz 63%; Pinotage 9%; Tannat 5%; Cabernet Franc 1%; and Cabernet Sauvignon 4%. The different components were vinified and aged separately in French Oak Barrels for 12 months, in a mix of 18% 1st fill barrels, 25% 2nd fill barrels, 14% 3rd fill, and 43%, 4th fill French oak barrels. The varieties were then blended and prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle closed with natural cork. The label, French Chateau-like, has an etching of the Manor on it, very classical. In the glass, the wine is a deep plum at the heart which pales out to ruby at the edges. The aromas are of sweet ripe red fruit and berries. There is an undertow of mocha latte and the roadside fennel seeds we used to scrunch in our fingers when we were children. The palate is rich and generous from entry, with a counterbalancing acidity line for the fruit, and gentle tannins. Good long slowly waning aftertaste. An impressive glass. With cool cellaring the wine will reward you in a couple of years.
The Groot Constantia Rood 2019, slightly chilled makes the perfect bottle for after dinner with the discussion putting the world to rights. Red meat is the requirement, and a good tranche of steak off the braai served with herb butter, salsa verde, sauce au moutarde or a good Bearnaise is sure to please.
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