2019 Constantia Glen, Five, Constantia, South Africa
The 2019 Five comes from different parcels than the Three and is matured for 19 months in 74% new oak. It offers ripe scents of black plum, blueberry and crushed violet scents with a subtle hickory note in the background.
The palate is medium-bodied with fine acidity, quite weighty with a bit of backbone, and fresh with 23% Petit Verdot imparting blue fruit towards the almost Margaux-like finish. Very fine.
Drink 2024 - 2036
Neil Martin, Vinous.com (August 2022)
Constantia Glen Five 2019 Constantia (14.5%). The proportions may vary from vintage to vintage, but this is always a blend of the five red Bordeaux varieties.
Cabernet Sauvignon is just the dominant grape in 2019, with the remaining 75% made up of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec.
Structured, serious and concentrated, with plum, damson and blackcurrant flavours, scented 74% new wood and granular tannins.
Drink 2024 - 2032
Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com
About this WINE
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.
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
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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This Bordeaux-style blend from one of South Africa’s most beautiful, scenic and historic estates is an absolute delight each year, but the cool 2019 vintage really highlights the elegance and delicacy that red wines from this region can produce.
The nose combines seductive black and blue fruits with blackberries, damson and a lifted violet note. The dark fruit character on the palate is elevated by a lovely fresh acidity and framed with very fine-grained tannins from the French oak maturation.
There is a hint of chocolate on the long finish. This is certainly one to enjoy with a slow-roasted beef dish or a dark, mushroomy stew.
Drink now - 2033
Katie Merry, Buying Assistant, Berry Bros. & Rudd (February 2023)
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