SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012
2012 was an exceptionally late vintage for both white and red varieties as a result of a very cool summer preceding the harvest. This long season tested our patience to the limit, but bode very well for slow and long ripening that has resulted in extremely elegant and refined wines.
With the long, cool growing season the grapes achieved optimal flavour ripeness whilst still retaining crisp acidity and minerality from our cool climate vineyards. The picking of the Sauvignon Blanc eventually commenced on 27 February 2012, about 10 days later than usual at Constantia Glen. The grapes were harvested for three weeks at different intervals once each vineyard block achieved optimal ripeness and flavour concentration. The white grape harvest ended on 17 March 2012 when the last block of Sémillon was picked. Whilst making up only 10% of this wine, Sémillon adds incredible greengage and citrus flavours as well as depth, weight and a mouth-coating richness to the overall palate.
Clear and bright this wine shows a light straw colour tinged with lime green.
Hugely expressive and uplifting aromas of nettle and gooseberry, backed up by an intense tropical array of nectarine, guava and kiwi fruit. There is an underlying perfume of elderflower that is very characteristic of Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc. This multi-layered offering shows depth and minerality that provides insight to the wine’s origin - that being the classically cool region of Constantia.
The 2012 Sauvignon Blanc is rich and textured with a vibrant intensity. The creamy richness with the citrus and yellow fruit flavours are beautifully balanced by the crisp acidity and well-defined minerality. A small portion of Semillon (10%) adds weighty texture and the mouth-coating richness is accentuated by the maturation of the wine on the lees in stainless steel tanks for 5 months. This is a classic Constantia wine with beautiful elegance, length and a bold structure, which indicates excellent ageing potential.
Alcohol - 13.5 % Residual Sugar - 1.6 g/ℓ pH - 3.2
Titratable Acidity - 6.9 g/ℓ VA - 0.4 g/ℓ
Honey-roasted butternut soup infused with sage and drizzled with bits gorgonzola cheese. Lightly-smoked salmon, grilled with lemon and butter served on a bed of greens with olive oil. Crottin goats cheese on a warm baguette.
This is another vintage to which a notable component of Sèmillon (10%) is added to the Sauvignon Blanc. The Sèmillon adds a wonderful richness to the mouthfeel of the wine and lends additional capacity for ageing. This 2012 vintage also has a larger proportion of clone SB-10 or better known as the “weerstasie” clone of Sauvignon Blanc, which has resulted in a wine with more pungent and expressive aromatics. The wine has excellent fruit purity and since it also has sufficient richness and texture from the Sèmillon and five months of lees ageing, it was decided that the inclusion of a portion of oak-fermented wine was not required for this vintage.
CONSTANTIA GLEN TWO 2012
2012 was an exceptionally late vintage as a result of a very cool summer preceding the harvest. This long season tested our patience to the limit, but bode very well for slow and long ripening that has resulted in extremely elegant and refined wines with good aromatic potential. With the long, cool growing season the grapes achieved optimal flavour ripeness whilst still retaining crisp acidity and minerality from our cool climate vineyards. The picking of the Sauvignon Blanc eventually commenced on 27 February 2012, about 10 days later than usual at Constantia Glen. The grapes were harvested for three weeks at different intervals once each vineyard block achieved optimal ripeness and flavour concentration. The white grape harvest ended on 17 March 2012 when the last block of Sémillon was picked. Making up 29% of this barrel-fermented wine, the Sémillon adds incredible greengage and citrus flavours as well as depth, weight and a mouth-coating richness to the overall palate.
Clear and bright this wine has a golden straw colour tinged with lime green.
Uplifting aromas of nectarine, grapefruit and elderberry with undertones of the oak flavours imparted during barrel fermentation. Tropical papaya and pineapple flavours also come through and this complex array of aromas offers magnificent ethereal notes in the wine’s youth, but these will integrate beautifully with time and create a refined and intricate wine.
The wine has a vibrant intensity and remarkable fruit concentration. It is full and rich with a textured mouthfeel that develops from ageing on lees in the large 600 litre barrels. It is opulent and sumptuous whilst retaining great elegance and finesse due to a poised acidity and well-defined minerality. The Sémillon (29%) contributes largely to weighty texture, and the mouth-coating richness is accentuated by the maturation of the wine on the lees in barrel for 6 months after fermentation. This is a classic Constantia wine that has outstanding ageing potential and will integrate beautifully for 5 to 10 years from harvest.
Alcohol - 13.5 %
Residual Sugar - 1.7 g/ℓ
pH – 3.2
Titratable Acidity - 6.9 g/ℓ
VA - 0.45 g/ℓ
Asian-style smoked duck breast salad. Veal wrapped in prosciutto and rosemary, served on sautéed green asparagus. Fresh tuna and caper crostini. Salmon sashimi.
This is the second year of our wooded Bordeaux-style white, the Constantia Glen TWO. The grapes used to make this wine are specially selected from the best blocks grown on the farm and these grapes are handpicked, pressed and the juice is fermented in large 600 litre barrels. This vintage is a blend of 71% Sauvignon Blanc and 29% Sémillon. The total production for this wine was only 5000 bottles; fermented and matured on the lees for six months in 7 demi-muid French oak barrels of which 2 barrels were new and the remainder 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill. In comparison to the previous vintage of the Constantia Glen TWO, the 2012 is showing fantastic freshness, aromatics and improved integration with the oak. This is due to a slightly greater component of Sauvignon Blanc that has a higher natural acidity than Sèmillon. The notable Sèmillon component (29%) still adds a wonderful richness to the mouthfeel of the wine and lends enormous capacity for ageing.
CONSTANTIA GLEN THREE 2010
CONSTANTIA GLEN TWO 2012
HARVEST SUMMARY BY WINEMAKER, JUSTIN VAN WYK
2009 was seen as a monumental vintage in South Africa for both reds and whites. It was a cool and dry vintage with long ripening and slow accumulation of sugars and flavours. March, being the hottest month during the 2008 vintage was remarkably cool in 2009 and without any interruption of rain, this ultimately led to healthy grapes being harvested one to two weeks later than normal, which bode well for wines with incredible freshness, concentration and restraint. Intensive viticultural practices and regular vineyard tastings ensured the best flavour concentration and optimal ripeness at the time of picking.
This wine has immense depth of colour. It is bright with a very dark, almost opaque crimson core graduating to a youthful violet rim.
Full ripe black cherry fruit and rich spice fill the first impression, but this restrained wine has a much more complex offering that demands exploration. The spice nuances are offset by tremendous dark fruit expression of black cherry and cassis. The nose promises depth and complexity expected from such a remarkably cool vintage and shows powerful development after decanting.
The ripe, dark fruit aromas follow through seamlessly onto the palate and are complimented by incredible texture, as a result of round yet persistent tannins. This is a restrained and elegant wine that has the depth and refinement symbolic of the cool ripening season of 2009. This unique wine has beautiful richness and concentration that lends to a long, well-defined finish.
40% Petit Verdot, 25% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, 15% Malbec and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon matured for 18 months in 100% new French oak (225 litre barrels). The wine was bottled on 18 November 2010 after a light egg-white fining to add the final polish to the seamless tannin structure. This concentrated and restrained wine has great freshness and longevity as a result of the exceptionally long and cool ripening period of the 2009 vintage, hence only released after 3 years of bottle maturation. The beautiful balance of acidity and tannin structure coupled with encouraging youthfulness and minerality, are all indications of fantastic ageing potential for the next 15-20 years under ideal cellaring conditions.
Alcohol - 14.5 %
Residual Sugar – 3.1 g/ℓ
pH - 3.5
Titratable Acidity – 5.5 g/ℓ
VA - 0.56 g/ℓ
Oven roasted quail dressed with Parma ham and stuffed with star anise couscous – sauced liberally with a red wine and port reduction. Beef fillet roasted over vine coals served with buttered mash potatoes. Rosemary and salt grilled lamb chops prepared rare with cherry tomatoes warmed in a savoury balsamic reduction.