VIN DE CONSTANCE
2014 Klein Constantia
The 2014 Vin de Constance was assembled from 15 lots and matured in 33% new French oak, 5% Hungarian oak and 2% acacia for three years, the first vintage to use the new fermentation tanks in the renovated winery. It has 172gm/L residual sugar and a very attractive bouquet (as always) of honeysuckle, orange pith, marmalade and pineapple. The palate is vivacious on the entry, offering orange zest, mandarin, apricot and light spicy notes. This feels very harmonious and precise, and there is almost a fieriness toward the finish. Another in a succession of fabulous Vin de Constance wines under wünderkind Matt Day. Drinking range: 2021 - 2050 Rating: 94 Neal Martin, vinous.com (Aug 2018)
*Case price: Mix any 12 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Vin de Constance comes from the Klein Constantia estate founded in 1695, just 20 miles from Cape Town at the foot of Table Mountain. Most unusually for a ‘New World’ wine, it was big news in Europe throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Napoleon is said to have shipped over bulk quantities of Vin de Constance to St Helena, to allow for about a bottle a day to see him through his exile there, but he was not alone, Louis XVI, Frederick the Great and the discerning gastronomes that made up the Russian Royal family were all more than partial too. Our own dear Jane Austen recommends it in Sense and Sensibility to sooth a broken heart and the more effusive Frenchman, Monsieur Baudelaire, suggests that only the ‘lips of a lover were more heavenly sweet...’ Following its early success the estate’s fortunes changed in the mid nineteenth century – the dreaded Phylloxera devastated the vineyards and the estate went in to rapid decline. Not until 1979 did life get breathed back in to Klein Constantia when a local family picked up the pieces, planted new vines and started the revival of this once illustrious wine estate – the revival has continued as new owners took the reins in 2010, with deep pockets and huge ambition. You can read David Porter's latest blog piece on the recent 2008 Vin de Constance Tasting with Matt Day the Winemaker Here
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