Last month, a few us wine blogger ladies popped in at Beau Constantia to experience their wine tasting. I do not really visit Constantia all that often, so it was a welcoming to change to leave the Northern suburbs and explore a new area.
I had, however, visited Beau Constantia before, a long time ago - before my blogging days. And I just can't get over how beautiful it is! It's a very modern building with really cool earthy finishes, positioned high up to give you these stunning views (see below).
Once inside the tasting room, we met Johann Olivier, the tasting room manager. He showed us to this beautiful table (see below), where you can see the view whilst you sip your wines.
We were lucky enough to watch Johann perform a sabrage on a bottle of the Pas De Nom MCC. This was the first ever live sabrage I'd watched and it was pretty cool! We then had a glass of this Chardonnay MCC while Johann explained the history of the farm to us.
The land was quite badly affected from a devastating fire in 2000. The plot was then cleared and terraced and Pierre and Cecily Du Preez purchased it in 2002. A year later, the first vineyards were planted in 2003 with the help of dedicated farm manager, Japie Bronn.
Now, the farm does really well, with a total of 11.47 hectares of various cultivars: Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Shiraz and Petit Verdot.
We got to taste quite of few of Beau Constantia's wines, but there were a few moments which stood out...
Firstly, the Lucca wine was really nice (see below left). It's a classic and elegant Bordeaux-style blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. I like the cherries and plums aromas in wines, so this one was up my alley. It had a decent red berry flavour, and I found it to be quite concentrated, but not too heavy. It has a good minerality and is just yum. It costs R245 from the farm.
Johann also let us taste some of their spirits (because he's cool like that). They have one gin and two vodkas - the result of a collaboration they formed with Guy Munton, a Private Artisanal Distiller. I'd recommend this tasting if you don't mind neat gin and vodka, otherwise it can be a bit too strong.
The gin was pretty decent. It costs R375 a bottle and contains the ingredients and aromatics of: Juniper Berries, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Star Anis, Lime, Rooibos, Honeybush and Fynbos.
I also thought the "gold vodka" was quite unique. It's called the Ronald and it's an amber vodka with the ingredients and aromatics of: Naartjie, Saffron, Bergamot and 23ct Gold Leaf. Yes! 23ct Gold Leaf! How awesome? This pic below (right) doesn't really do it justice, because you can't quite see the gold flakes, but it looks pretty cool. I liked the taste of that too and it also costs R375 per bottle.
My favourite wine of the day was definitely the Aidan (Lucca's brother), which was quite surprising for me, because it is quite a complex wine. It is the same price as the Lucca wine (R245) but it was more sophisticated for my palate. It's a blend of Shiraz, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Merlot.
It has my typical "likes" - dark fruit and black cherries - but added white pepper and plum flavours. It's full-bodied, but still smooth and has a long finish. It's perfectly well-balanced for me, with a great minerality. (I brought a bottle home and am keeping it for a cosy winter's evening in front of a fire somewhere).
Thanks so much to Jared for organizing our outing and to Johann for hosting us - we were truly treated like royalty and Johann taught us a lot about Beau Constantia and their great wines!
Contact: +27 21 794 8632
Address: 1043 Constantia Main Rd, Glen Alpine, Constantia, 7806
Star Rating: ****
Note: We were invited to attend Beau Constantia by Jared and were thus treated to a complimentary tasting. This review is entirely based on this specific experience and my personal opinion of the wine and venue.