Klein Constantia 2008 Vin de C

Klein Constantia 2008 Vin de Constance just released in UK: Our review

We were lucky enough to be one of the first to taste South African wine estate Klein Constantia’s new 2008 Vin de Constance alongside the 2007 vintage ahead of its release in the UK today . Our verdict? ‘Simply wonderful’.

Klein Constantia 2008 Vin de C

Klein Constantia (Medium)For nearly 200 years the wines from Constantia were the Cape’s best known and sought after wines. They surpassed all other wines in nobility and character.

When Simon Van Der Stel, original owner of Constantia, died in the early 17th century, Constantia was divided into various farms but the sweet wines were only made on two.

It was the Colyns of De Hoop op Constantia (now Klein Constantia) who made Constantia wines world famous.

Because of their unique characteristics these wines were highly popular among European leaders and aristocracy throughout the 18th Century.

Hundreds of eminent visitors and residents of the Cape visited the Constantia farms; while abroad it was drunk by the high and mighty. Napoleon Bonaparte, among the most famous, while in exile reportedly asked for a glass on his deathbed, refusing anything else.

In the 19th Century the outbreak of Oidium and Phylloxera saw a decline and subsequent discontinuing of the production of Vin de Constance, ending a golden era.

But in 1986 Klein Constantia, after a revival from new owner Duggie Jooste and winemaker Ross Gower, released its first new vintage of the widely celebrated Vin de Constance for commercial sale in over a century. For two decades winemaker Lowell Jooste, Duggie’s son, has helped Klein Constantia rack up awards, medals and accolades the world over.

In 2010 Zdenek Bakala and Charles Harman purchased Klein Constantia from the Jooste family. Matthew Day, after working as Assistant Winemaker at Klein Constantia in 2008 under Adam Mason’s guidance, has filled some very big shoes by becoming the new winemaker at Klein Constantia.

Today I was very fortunate to be one of the first to taste the new 2008 Vin de Constance alongside the 2007 vintage with Matthew Day before general release in the UK . Wow!

Vin de Constance

Vin de Constance 2007:

The deep golden amber colour with a rich nose showing sweet mandarin and orange peel is lifted with exotic lychee, baked caramel and nuttiness. The palate is rich and vibrant with a creamy, ripe, syrupy mouth feel.  Good citrusy acidity balances this wine to make for a long, vibrant, intense finish. One of the best sweet wines out there.

Vin de Constance 2008:

A bit more luscious with a medium amber colour. A cloying (in a good way) nose with freshness and a tender feminine nose of naartjie and Turkish Delight. The palate bursts with honey, apricots, new caramel and some green apple. Lovely acidity cutting through the sweetness. The mouth feeling stays with you forever and I still had the wonderful aftertaste in my mouth when I left the tasting.

This is a simply wonderful glass of wine and I would suggest to anyone who can get their hands on a bottle or two to grab it! This wine will develop over the next 10 to 20 years.

2007 Vin de Constance available at biltongstmarcus.co.uk