2017 Constantia Glen, Five, Constantia, South Africa

2017 Constantia Glen, Five, Constantia, South Africa

Product: 20171357785
Prices start from £33.00 per bottle (75cl). Buying options
2017 Constantia Glen, Five, Constantia, South Africa

Description

Rising mercury might not necessarily have you reaching for big reds but – especially when our British summer can seem a little reluctant – I get a pang for anything which evokes memories of warm sun and gentle breeze. I can recall vividly the first time I visited Constantia Glen ten years ago: sitting in their perfect amphitheatre vineyard overlooking False Bay with a glass of FIVE in hand. To this day, the mere whiff of it conjures up feelings of summer.

The Constantia region in Western Cape is South Africa’s oldest and coolest wine region, and it remains a favourite vineyard area of mine. If I could draw a (tenuous) comparison with the Grands Crus of Burgundy, when you stand in the vines, it’s easy to understand why someone thought it was a good idea to plant a vineyard here 400 years ago. This is a perfect spot, between two oceans, providing moderation for South Africa’s climate. This cooling influence allows Constantia Glen to make their elegant whites and reds in a style which show finesse rather than brute force.

The FIVE is a homage to owner Alex Waibel’s love of red Bordeaux, made from a blend of all five of the classic Bordeaux varietals. The herbal, earthy character of the wine hints to Alex’s preference for restraint but the creamy oak and voluptuous fruit offer more than a hint of New World panache. This is certainly worthy of something more than a burnt sausage from the barbeque – a perfectly cooked aged ribeye, perhaps. For me, though, this is a perfect sunset wine, to be enjoyed with the cooling evening and bottles of rosé upended in the ice bucket.

Adam Holden, Director to the Chairman's Office, Berry Bros. & Rudd (May 2021)

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About this WINE

Constantia Glen

Constantia Glen

Constantia Glen is the newest of the eight wineries which have established themselves in the enclave of Constantia in South Africa, close to Cape Town itself. 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 – lying 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, wines which show exceptional value for money.

The red wines are based on the traditional Bordeaux grapes. The “Three” uses Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot; while the “Five” has the addition of Malbec and Petit Verdot.

The reds are joined by two whites: a refreshing, crisp and classically proportioned Sauvignon Blanc and an energetic blend, the “Two”, which is made predominantly with Sauvignon Blanc (as one of the most aromatically pure examples in the country), with a touch of Sémillon to enhance its many layers.

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Constantia

Constantia

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.

Constantia is most famous for its ancient dessert wine Vin de Constance (made from Muscat de Frontignan)  as produced by Klein Constantia estate.

The cooling, south-easterly sea breezes make Constantia a natural site for Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon as well as Muscat.

The district is home to a mere 8 wine estates, including Klein Constantia, Groot Constantia, Buitervenwachting, Constantia Uitsig, Eagles' Nest, Steenberg, Constantia Glen

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Cab.Sauvignon

Cab.Sauvignon

The most famous red wine grape in the world and one of the most widely planted.

It is adaptable to a wide range of soils, although it performs particularly well on well-drained, low-fertile soils. It has small, dusty, black-blue berries with thick skins that produce deeply coloured, full-bodied wines with notable tannins. Its spiritual home is the Médoc and Graves regions of Bordeaux where it thrives on the well-drained gravel-rich soils producing tannic wines with piercing blackcurrant fruits that develop complex cedarwood and cigar box nuances when fully mature.

The grape is widely planted in California where Cabernet Sauvignon based wines are distinguished by their rich mixture of cassis, mint, eucalyptus and vanilla oak. It is planted across Australia and with particular success in Coonawarra where it is suited to the famed Terra Rossa soil. In Italy barrique aged Cabernet Sauvignon is a key component in Super Tuscans such as Tignanello and Sassicaia, either on its own or as part of a blend with Sangiovese.

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