The revival in the 1980s of this estate – once part of the historic Constantia farm of Simon van der Stel – was crucial to the re-emergence of the area as a fine wine-producer. A detail of great significance was the recreation, in Vin de Constance, of Constantia’s great tradition of sweet wine. As a central focus of Klein Constantia, this acclaimed dessert wine now has a new maturation cellar, with some ‘old tech’ elements like large wooden vessels (foudres) for fermentation. Another estate specialty is sauvignon blanc. Winemaker Matt Day and viticulturist Craig Harris have focused on vineyard blocks across the estate’s varied conditions (few producers anywhere have so many different sauvignon bottlings), learning to understand each block individually. The results can be sampled in the renovated tasting room.
Only red in Estate line-up, but a commanding presence. 2014 58% cab with shiraz, petit verdot & malbec; achieves power, authority without heavy extraction or oak. Compact core of dark fruit, persistence & freshness, should improve decade or more, especially in also-available magnum.
Joint venture with France's Pascal Jolivet, involving one of the highest blocks & 'natural, minimalistic & unconventional approach'. Unoaked 2015 pure & intense, pleasing saline leanness & balanced - rather than arresting - acidity. Rewards few years ageing. Also in 1.5L.
Stringent selection of barrels from a single-vineyard, 2015 is the aristocrat here, showcasing the estate's saline savouriness, impressive length & weight, through terroir expression & expertly managed older-oak ferment/9 months ageing. 2014 sold out untasted.