Berry Bros – New Release: 2018 Klein Constantia, Vin de Constance
There are few dessert wines that are as highly sought after as Klein Constantia’s Vin de Constance and even fewer that consistently appear on lists featuring the top wines of the world. In fact, Klein Constantia was the preferred sweet wine in European courts in the 18th Century, beating off competition from the likes of Ch. d’Yquem, Tokaji and Madeira.
The estate itself dates all the way back to 1685 and was initially a farm granted to the Dutch East India’s tenth commander at the Cape of Hope – Simon van de Steel. It is still seen today as one of the most picturesque and idyllic estates in the world, situated in the upper foothills of Constantiaberg and set amongst ancient woodlands, with breath-taking views stretching across False Bay.
Klein Constantia has enjoyed a significant honeymoon period of successful vintages since 2010, when wine making maestro Matthew Day took over the reins. Judging by the initial scores released by those critics fortunate enough to taste the brand new 2018 vintage, this is shaping up to be another extraordinary example of this unique nectar.
Speaking recently about the new vintage, James Suckling had the following to say: “I also rated a barrel sample of what may be South Africa’s most famous wine: Klein Constantia Vin de Constance Natural Sweet Wine 2018. It could be the greatest Vin de Constance I have ever tasted in my career, with its unique balance of sweetness and savoriness & an almost salty undertone.”
Also about the new vintage, Matthew Jukes effuses: “If you have never tasted this wine before, please start with this vintage – it will blow your mind.”
Furthermore, Neal Martin of Vinous has previously stated: “As for the prices for Vin de Constance, well, if I happen to taste better value for money than recent vintages, I will let you know – but don’t hang around waiting”.
With this in mind, we can’t recommend the 2018 enough. It is such a rarity to be able to offer wines of this magnitude at such favourable pricing. Similar wines from the old world would command nearly four times the price, so for us, this is an absolute steal and not one to miss out on!
Let me know if you’d like a case or two – or you can purchase via the web link below.
2018 Klein Constantia, Vin de Constance, Constantia, South Africa
£246 GBP per 6 50cl bottle case in bond
“It’s always great when a wine has history and stories that date back as far as Berry Bros. & Rudd but even better when that wine has exceptional quality like Vin de Constance. The straw yellow and glass hugging liquid gives off aromas of peach, passionfruit and spicy marmalade. You can get lost in rich and layered meld of flavours on the palate. Tangy citrus, ripe apricot and smoked ginger all harmoniously leading to a lingering finish that feels endless. Drink now till 2050+.”
James Belok, Private Account Manager
“Extraordinary aromas of white peaches, apricots, vanilla and flowers. Full-bodied and very sweet with so much sweet and dried fruit, such as apricots and tangerines, yet it maintains citrusy freshness and texture, with a long, very sweet finish. Always energetic and vivid. Great length to this. Goes on for minutes. It’s a sweet wine to drink when young, to marvel over the intensity and verve, yet also one to age for decades. Drink or hold.”
98/100. James Suckling, jamessuckling.com – Aug. 2021
“Vintage reports suggest that the build-up to the 2018 harvest brought the highest summer rainfall of the last six years and, combined with some of the coldest night-time temperatures on record, the vines were granted a very long and very slow growing season. These conditions have imbued extreme delicacy of perfume and flavour and also staggering concentration and length in this wine. It also means that the 2018 vintage has otherworldly characteristics and I cannot remember a young vintage tasting so refined and demure. Light bunches and tiny Muscat de Frontignan berries underline just how unusual this vintage was and with a harvest that was a fortnight later than average and crops down by about 15% all of these facts make sense when you taste this ethereal wine. Aged for three years in a combination of 50% new French oak barrels, a small number of acacia barrels, as well as large format foudres, this is both a sensual and also sensitive wine. For a start, the colour is incredibly pale – think a young Sancerre! But the viscosity is amazing when you pour a glass because the liquid moves ever so slightly slower and more deliberately into the glass. The lights come on and the brain fires up immediately and it takes you by surprise just how quickly your olfactory system senses that you are in the presence of greatness. I was in a state of heightened anticipation, long before I raised the glass to my lips and the reward is exquisite. The perfume and palate combine in an astral haze of delight with orange blossom, fig, lemon verbena, wild honey and acacia notes caressing your senses. The texture is super-smooth, incredibly long and unnervingly gentle. It certainly possesses the longest finish I can remember on a Vin de Constance and I have, very fortunately, a tasted huge number of vintages of this wine. If you have never tasted this wine before, please start with this vintage – it will blow your mind. If you have and you are a fan, this is a critical purchase for your collection. I cannot wait to add this wine to my cellar later in the year. Drink now – 2070)”
19.5++/20 Matthew Jukes, matthewjukes.com – June. 2021