Dating back to 1685 and described as one of the world’s most beautiful wine estates, Klein Constantia is set amidst ancient trees on the upper foothills of the Constantiaberg with views across False Bay. Klein Constantia produces some of South Africa’s top wines thanks to its perfect location for cool climate wines.
Our sommelier, Zsófi attended a brilliant tasting when Klein Constantia’s winemaker, Matt Day was in town last month.
I was very excited to be invited to this very in-depth and broad tasting with Matt, encompassing so many fantastic vintages.
We were presented with 10 wines from Klein Constantia, all served blind.
My preferred vintages from the older years were 1991 and 1999, and from the collection of younger vintages, I found the 2007, 2012, 2015 to be the most characterful, expressing the unique terroir beautifully.
2012 was Matt’s first harvest, having worked at the winery since 2008 under Adam Mason’s guidance (the winery’s previous winemaker). It turned out to be outstanding, as well as being the latest and longest harvest the estate had ever had. 2015 was also fantastic in the glass. The conditions were slightly warmer and the wines subsequently fuller in style, compared to the zestier 2012. 2007 was also a great wine. The combination of ginger, spices, coffee and toffee characters paired with the tropical fruit notes was truly memorable.
Klein Constantia have many back vintages that haven’t as yet been released. The 2004 vintage is still in the barrel (we were lucky enough to try a sample) but the 2015 has already been released, to pick one example. Additionally, and very recently, the winery are also looking into new varieties and blending them through various experiments – something that we are seeing more of as the wine world develops. They also blend younger vintages into their wines, for example 2015 has about 13% of the 2018 harvest.
Today, Klein Constantia continues to make some of South Africa’s top wines. It was a true pleasure to taste these vintages and I look forward to many more years of drinking these special expressions from one of the most stunning wine regions on the planet.