Yesterday a tasting of various old wines from the Klein Constantia library presented by managing director Hans Astrom and winemaker Matt Day, my three stand-out wines as follows:
Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc Noble Late Harvest 1998
Alc 14.21% RS 138.7g/l TA 8.8g/l pH3.7
Dark orange with a pale rim. Burnt sugar, orange and a little fynbos on the nose. Terrifically rich and concentrated on the palate yet simultaneously fresh, the wine showing lovely acid integration, the result being that it moves really well in the mouth. The finish, meanwhile, is long and dry. Smashing stuff.
Editor’s rating: 95/100.
Klein Constantia Malbrook 1990
Alc 12.0% RS 1.0g/l TA 5.6g/l pH 3.6
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. A somewhat controversial wine as some in attendance found it too lean and attenuated but I thought it was supremely elegant. An attractive floral note before red and black berries, cigar box and a hint of undergrowth. Lovely fruit purity, fresh acidity and fine tannins. Great balance and very little decay in evidence.
Editor’s rating; 94/100.
Klein Constantia Riesling 1987
Alc 11.5% RS 16.0g/l TA 6.6g/l pH 3.3
Amber in colour. An enticing nose – a floral top note before lime, apple, mint humbug, spice and the merest hint of petrol. Lean with racy acidity and a pithy finish. Quite thrilling to drink and you don’t say that about SA Riesling often.
Editor’s rating: 93/100.
The rest of the line-up included:
Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc 1995 – 89/100
Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc 2002 – 88/100
Klein Constantia Perdeblokke Sauvignon Blanc 2007 – 92/100
Klein Constantia Semillon 2004 – 90/100
Klein Constantia Mme Marlbrook 2004 – 90/100
Klein Constantia Chardonnay 2007 – 91/100
Klein Constantia Riesling 1996 – 88/100
Klein Constantia Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 – 90/100
Klein Constantia Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 – 87/100
On the whole, a most impressive line-up, serving to remind that is without doubt one of the country’s finest wine-growing properties.