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Producer: Groot ConstantiaGrape Varieties: Merlot 60%, Cabernet Sauvignon 40%Optimum Drinking: Within 3 yearsWine Style: Crisp dry balanced roseAlcohol by Volume: 12.5%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.
A dry autumn and winter set the scene with enough cold weather during July, which was crucial for budding. Budding was early, but even; as was flowering and fruit set. Good signs for the véraison and even ripening that followed. Persistent south easterly winds, especially during December and January, marked the 2016 vintage. The winds and warm, dry conditions resulted in healthy fruit with reduced disease pressure and one of the earliest harvests in decades. Ripe, concentrated good quality fruit has translated into excellent wines.
This wine comes from various blocks that vary between 48 and 148 metres above sea-level, on slopes that are south to south-east facing. The area is blessed with a maritime climate due to the oceans and an average annual rainfall of approximately 1,100mm per annum. The soils are predominantly Hutton and Glenrosa- a 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 Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were picked between 20 to 24 Balling and were then cold-fermented at 12 to 13°C in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Following the fermentation, the wine was left on the lees for two months, adding texture and complexity. It was then racked, fined and stabilised in preparation for bottling.
This blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with its delicate salmon colour shows an abundance of fresh summer fruits on the nose of pear, strawberry and cranberry. The fruit follows on the palate and the crisp acidity leaves a clean finish.
Serve chilled as an apéritif or to accompany smoked chicken salad with fresh coconut.
Merlot 60%, Cabernet Sauvignon 40%
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