Thursday, September 18, 2008

Constantia Glen New Vintages

Constantia Glen

Established in 2000, perched high up near Constantia Nek this is Constantia Valley latest winery. The first wine was bottle in 2005, a phenomenal Sauvignon Blanc a la Cloudy Bay style followed by an equally impressive 2006, one of the star of the vintages.

Winemaker Karl Lambour, a towering giant, is one of the most meticulous and knowledgeable wine maker I have come across in the Cape, a born perfectionist join the stable in 2006, now overlooking the 29 hectares planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Sauvignon Blanc.

Constantia Glen 120 ton state of the art gravity fed cellar, is one of the most modern in the Cape, offering precision winemaking at all level of production. This is a winery to watch, if meticulous approach is maintain, expect some world class wine in the next 10 years, if not sooner!

Privilege pre-tasting of flagship red following pre blending component tasted from barrel in February. At that time the tannins and structure suggested a style somewhere between the profile of Anwilka, Vilafonté, Morgenster and Anthonij Rupert range, however post blending have created a totally different and complete wine, with a profile for a Bordeaux style never encountered before in the Cape. Exciting, interesting & captivating. The Cape needs more of this style to gain more international respect.

Clear with bright cherry red with slight purple rim. Fragrant, with delicate medley of blackcurrant, very ripe cassis, and lead pencil minerality intermingle with cedar notes, as wine warm up toasty notes of dark chocolate comes through lending a new dimension to the already complex aromas profile, never encountered before in a Cape Bordeaux style blend. Oak very much in balance coaxing subtle notes of dark forest fruit, delicate and subtle with refreshing acidity, very well integrated for a wine that was only blended 2 and half week earlier, already appealing with charm and a sense of sophistication. Perhaps not for the long term by world standard, but very good by Cape standard, this wine will reach it’s full potential at +/- 2013 and will drink well until around 2016+, as vines ages couple by a better understanding of each site and growing condition, expect a more profound product to come from this winery, definitely a winery to watch, Private collectors, Sommeliers.... get your cheque ready for release in January 2009.....

32% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18%Malbec, 11% Cabernet Franc & 11% Petit Verdot . 13 month in new French oak, TA 5.3, PH3.6, alc 14.5.

Price: Unknown at time of tasting, expect to pay at least level 3

2 ways to enjoy the Constantia Glen Red Blend:

1- Vine fired roasted lamb loin rubbed with parsley, crushed Szechuan pepper and garlic flakes, served rare served with pommes dauphine, spring vegetables a l’Anglaise and jus corsé enhanced with black truffles shavings.

2- Wild Cape Guinea fowl marinated in red wine and a sprig of fynbos, slowly braised with forest mushrooms, home cured bacon and veal stock and served with herb tagliatelle and fresh tomato compote.

Food suggestions above created by Tomato Catering, for more information please email

2008 Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc 83 Points

Discreet varietal note, with gooseberries, touch of tropical fruit medley and hints of elderflower. Lighter structure than 2007, only 12.5% vs 14%, but broader palate lends interest and charm, notes of green lime, guava skin and racy acidity suggest hints of Semillon.......... it’s. Winemaker Karl Lambour was spot on in his harvest bringing in most Sauvignon grapes before the 3 and half day non stop long deluge over the week end of 10th & 11th February that annihilated most Cape Sauvignon of the 2008 vintage.

Irrespective of all the effort, nowhere as close as 2007 or the great 2006, definitely shows characteristic of the 2008 vintage, nevertheless one of the few survivors of 2008 Sauvignon Blanc.

Anticipated integration around December 2008 thereafter should drink well with the possibility of a fatter mid palate due bottle age until +/- 2012.

Price: 2

2 ways to enjoy the Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc 2008:

1 – Carpaccio of kingklip with herbs dressing and a light dust of baie roses du Cap
2 – Crunchy medley of spring asparagus spears, rocket, cherry tomato and chervil, served with grilled goat cheese medaillon and a Key lime dressing enhanced with Passion fruit pearls.

Food suggestions above created by Tomato Catering, for more information please email

Tasted in the presence of Constantia Glen owner Gus C.G.Allen, consultant Dominique Hebrard previous owner of Chateau Cheval Blanc and now owner of Chateau Bellefont-Belcier, a Saint Emillion Grand Cru Classé, Constantia Glen Winemaker Karl Lambour and Marketing Director Jeremy Nel of Luxury Brand.

Tasted on the 30th July 2008 at 1530
Miguel Chan
Certified Sommelier
2007 Young South African Sommelier of the year – Chaine des Rôtisseurs
2007 Finalist, Concours Internationale des Jeunes Sommeliers World Final, Frankfurt Germany.
2008 Certificate of Competence with distinction from the WINE magazine Michael Fridjhon Tasting Academy

Older Vintages......

2007 Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc 85+Points

Expressing the vintage, touch lighter than 2006, more gooseberries and green kiwi, leaner, crisper structure, with hints of minerality. Fresh and delicate. 2008 – 2011.
Price: 2

2006 Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc 88 Points

From a vineyard high up near Constantia Nek, comes this phenomenal almost like white grapefruit and freshly tucked asparagus tip, lime and lemon grass aromas. Thick, concentrated and oily, this mouth filling Sauvignon is highly recommended, only 8ooo bottles produced. June 2007 until 2013. IWC Gold and 90 points Wine spectator.
Price: 2

2005 vintage 4 star WINE magazine
Not tasted.