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2014 Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc, Constantia Wine Valley
Constantia Glen is the newest of the eight wineries which have established themselves in the enclave of Constantia wine region of South Africa, close to Stellenbosch. A landscape with a rich viticultural history it is widely regarded as one of the country’s finest natural areas in which to produce premium wine.
Although the region is more commonly known for its white varietals Constantia Glen’s unique position, laying between a gap in the mountains, allows red grapes to mature perfectly here as they bask in an additional one and a half hours’ sunlight every day. As such, Constantia Glen has made a name for its elegant, complex and beautifully-balanced Bordeaux blends which show exceptional value for money.
The red wines are based on Bordeaux blends (the 'Three' using Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, and the 'Five' with the addition of Malbec and Petit Verdot).
The refreshing, satisfying white wine is made predominantly with Sauvignon Blanc,(as one of the most aromatically pure examples in the country), with a touch of Semillon to enhance its many layers.
An important white grape in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley that has now found fame in New Zealand and now Chile. It thrives on the gravelly soils of Bordeaux and is blended with Sémillon to produce fresh, dry, crisp Bordeaux Blancs, as well as more prestigious Cru Classé White Graves.
It is also blended with Sémillon, though in lower proportions, to produce the great sweet wines of Sauternes. It performs well in the Loire Valley and particularly on the well-drained chalky soils found in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where it produces bone dry, highly aromatic, racy wines, with grassy and sometimes smoky, gunflint-like nuances.
In New Zealand, Cloudy Bay in the 1980s began producing stunning Sauvignon Blanc wines with extraordinarily intense nettly, gooseberry, and asparagus fruit, that set Marlborough firmly on the world wine map. Today many producers are rivalling Cloudy Bay in terms of quality and Sauvignon Blanc is now New Zealand`s trademark grape.
It is now grown very successfully in Chile producing wines that are almost halfway between the Loire and New Zealand in terms of fruit character. After several false starts, many South African producers are now producing very good quality, rounded fruit-driven Sauvignon Blancs.
The historically important if tiny wine district of Constantia lies in Cape Town’s southern wards, and on the most southerly point of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope.