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.
Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.