Klein Constantia, Vin de Constance

Klein Constantia, Vin de Constance, 2007

  • icon-type Type

    White

  • icon-year Year

    2007

  • icon-style Style

    Sweet

  • icon-country Country

    South Africa

  • icon-alcohollevel Alcohol level

    14%

  • icon-grapevariety Grape variety
    Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains 100%
  • Rating

    RP 97

This vintage was one of the best of the decade, with a long, cool season ensuring concentrated flavours and aromatic intensity. A warm, dry late summer created perfect conditions for the raisining of the Muscat de Frontignan grapes whilst still on the vine.

Burnished copper in colour with alluring, exotic aromas of Turkish Delight intermingle with fragrant honeysuckle, citrus peel and clove spiciness. Unctuously sweet, deeply complex and concentrated tropical and Seville orange marmalade flavours are lifted by a fine acid thread to a satisfyingly long, delicious and lip-smackingly vibrant finish.

About Klein Constantia

Klein Constantia is one of South Africa's most famous wine producers, located in Constantia in the hills above Cape Town. It is most famous for its flagship wine, the naturally sweet Vin de Constance made from Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains. This historic wine was a favourite of the courts of Europe in the 19th Century, and is mentioned in the literature of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. It was famously requested by Napoleon Bonaparte on his deathbed.

The estate was once part of a larger estate called Constantia, established in 1685 by Simon van Der Stel, the then-Governor and namesake of Stellenbosch. In 1817, the estate was broken up into Groot (big) and Klein (small) Constantia, the latter of which was already under vine. Unfortunately, Constantia was hit by phylloxera in the later part of the century, and the vineyards were forgotten until the 1970s, when they were revived and a new era of winemaking commenced.

Although Vin de Constance is Klein Constantia's most important wine, the estate makes a range of dry wines from grape varieties like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard is subject to cooling influences from nearby False Bay, and sits on decomposed granite and limestone soils, leading to intensely aromatic wines. The Muscat for the Vin de Constance is left to raisin on the vine before harvest, making a lusciously sweet wine with flavours of pineapple, quince and spice.

Grape variety
Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains

Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains is known by many names worldwide, including Muscat Blanc (white Muscat) in France and the United States), Muscat Canelli in the United States, Moscato Bianco (white Moscato) in Italy, Muscat Frontignan in South Africa, Moschato in Greece, Brown Muscat in Australia, Muskateller in Germany and Austria, Muscat de Grano Menudo in Spain, and Muscat de Frontignan and Muscat Lunel in France. While the "petits grains" in the grape's name accurately describes the small, round berries of the vine, some wine experts, such as Oz Clarke, believe that the term "Muscat Blanc" is misleading, since the grapevine is notorious for its frequent colour mutations siring clusters of berries in nearly every shade possible though most commonly the grape berries are a deep yellow after veraison. In some vineyards, vines of Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains are known to produce clusters of berries of different colours that change every vintage.

The precise origins of Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains are not known, though Greece and Italy can both make compelling cases due to the proliferation of clones, mutations and offspring. Today, the grape is found throughout the wine-producing world, making a wide range of wine, from light, sweet sparkling and semi-sparkling Asti and Moscato d'Asti wine in the Piedmont wine region of Italy and Clairette de Die region of France, fortified vin doux naturels (VdN) in southern France in AOC regions such as Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, Muscat de Saint-Jean de Minervois and Muscat de Frontignan, fortified Liqueur Muscat in the Victoria wine region of Rutherglen in Australia, to dry wines in the Wachau wine of Austria and Südsteiermark.

Nearly all the most notable sweet Muscats of Greece, particularly those from the island of Samos and the city of Patras on the Peloponnese are made from Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains. In the history of South African wine, the famous dessert wine of Constantia was made from this variety of Muscat and while today Muscat of Alexandria is more widely planted in South Africa, producers around Constantia are trying to reclaim some of the region's viticultural acclaim by replanting more Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains and making wines in the style of the original Constantia.

Alternative Names: Moscato Bianco, Muscat Blanc, White Muscat, Moscatel de Grano Menudo, Moschato Aspro, Muscatel Galego, Muskateller, Gelber Muskateller, Muscat Canelli, Moscato di Canelli, Moscadello, Muscadel, Muscat de Lunel, Muscat d’Alsace, Muscat de Frontignan, Frontignac, Brown Muscat, Rutherglen Muscat, Sarga Muskatoly, Tamianka, Tamjanika, Tamaioasa Romaneasca

About Constantia

Constantia is a historic wine-growing area in the southern suburbs of Cape Town in the Western Cape of South Africa. In the 18th and 19th Centuries, the area was famed for its legendary dessert wine Vin de Constance. Nowadays, Constantia is known for premium cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc and Bordeaux Blend wines, along with the modern dessert wines made from Muscat Blanc.

The Constantia estate was established in 1685 by the second Governor of the Cape of Good Hope, Simon van der Stel. It was subdivided into three parts upon his death in 1712 – Klein Constantia, Groot Constantia and Bergvliet. In 1778, Klein Constantia was purchased by Stellenbosch wine producer Hendrik Cloete, who began to make unfortified dessert wines from Muscat Blanc. Vin de Constance was held in the highest regard by kings and emperors in Europe, and is mentioned in the literature of the day – most notably by Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.

Tragedy struck the area in the 1860s. The twin scourges of phylloxera and powdery mildew all but wiped out wine production in Constantia, and the vineyards lay largely forgotten until the 1980s. Today, they produce larger quantities of table wines, but modern winemakers have created their own version of the Vin de Constance style.

Constantia’s estates stretch from low ground all the way up the south-eastern sides of the Constantiaberg mountain. The highest vineyards reach 1300ft (400m) above sea level and are among the steepest in South Africa. Both the shade of the mountain and the constant sea breezes contribute to lower average temperatures on the slopes, helping the grapes planted here to retain their fresh acidity. Wind is important for vine health as well. The constant buffeting of the south-easterly winds stresses the vines, causing them to dig deeper into the ground for nutrients.

Constantia sits on top of ancient deposits of decomposed granite. These soils are well drained and fertile and have a high clay content. Water absorbed by the clay during wet winters helps to keep the vines hydrated over the dry summers.

Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot thrive further down the slopes where longer sunlight hours help the ripening process along. Richer, denser characters are present in the wines made from these grapes, which are often combined to make a Bordeaux Blend.

Regular price $708.00

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This is a wine from our Overseas - In Bond Collection. The wine is quoted as a price in S$ for purchase and transfer into a UK bonded warehouse. The purchase price is a duty/tax free price and does not include delivery to Singapore. Please contact us below if you wish to enquire delivery or storage options for a wine from our Overseas - In Bond Collection to Singapore or elsewhere.

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