VIN DE CONSTANCE
2015 Klein Constantia
|Origin||South Africa, Western Cape|
Even better than the 2014 release - and that was a spectacular sweet wine - the 2015 Vin de Constance is one of the greatest ever vintages of this iconic sticky. More Barsac than Sauternes in terms of weight, it’s fresh and refined, a bit like the 2012, with citrus and orange zest balancing the 172 grams of sugar. The oak is perfectly judged, the length and freshness things of wonder. Drinking range: 2019 - 2030 Rating: 98 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (Apr 2019)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine 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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