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Producer: Groot ConstantiaGrape Varieties: 100% PinotageOptimum Drinking: Within 6 yearsWine Style: Full bodied complex redAlcohol by Volume: 14.5%Closure: Natural CorkCountry: South Africa
Groot Constantia is South Africa's oldest estate and one of South Africa's most visited tourist attractions. In 1685 Cape Governor Simon van der Stel built a farm in the foothills of Table Mountain, which he named Constantia. Groot Constantia received world acclaim from Napoleon, Bismarck and King Louis Philippe of France who was the biggest single buyer of Groot Constantia wines. They had to sell to the Cape government after phylloxera ravaged the vineyards. Now, the total estate covers 165 hectares of which 87 hectares are planted, at an altitude of 60 to 280 metres above sea level. The climate is generally cool resulting in complex and balanced wines.
Dry conditions throughout the growing season and during the harvest of 2017 resulted in very good quality potential across the Western Cape. Many regions experienced drought conditions, which resulted in reduced yields, but offered greater concentration of colour and flavour as a result.
The vineyards are located on the steep valley on the eastern side of Table Mountain. The grapes for this wine were grown in various blocks that range from 39 metres to 160 metres above sea level. All the slopes are south to south east facing. The climate is Mediterranean with cooling breezes from the Atlantic Ocean encouraging balance and complexity in the grapes. The average rainfall is approximately 1,100mm per annum, which nourishes the predominantly Cartref and Glenrosa soila gravelly soil with low fertility. The climate, combined with the cool southern slopes and deep mountain soils provide the ideal setting for the making of this top quality wine.
The grapes were harvested in at 26° Balling and fermented on their skins, imparting colour, flavour and fine tannins, until the wine was dry. During the fermentation four pump overs a day took place to encourage maximum extraction. The wine then spent 12 months in French oak, of which 43% was new French oak barrels, with the balance aged in second, third and fourth fill barrels.
Aromas of strawberry and ripe plum dominate the nose of the 2017 Pinotage, while careful use of French oak adds layers of delicate vanilla complexity. The ripe red fruit and sweet vanilla continue on the silky palate, which is elegant with fine tannin structure and a long finish.
Enjoy this wine with a rich and hearty beef casserole, a juicy steak or slow-roasted leg of lamb.
Decanter World Wine Awards, Silver, 2015;
International Wine Challenge, Bronze, 2015
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Groot Constantia Pinotage 2017£20.15
Ernst Gouws & Co Pinotage 2016, Stellenbosch£12.75