Constantia racks up another win as South Africa shines at 2013 International Wine & Spirit Competition, London

A GROWING NUMBER of wine lovers today are falling for Groot Constantia’s Grand Constance  a Grande Dame reborn, you might say. The thing is, this unfortified dessert wine is coming of age (again) after some of the vintages following the (re)launch eight years or so ago were met with mixed reviews  down-to-earth cellarmaster Boela Gerber is open about how things weren’t quite as perhaps they should have been. The 2008 vintage made some waves with good performances at the International Wine Challenge in London and on Platter’s tasting bench back home, but it’s the 2010 that marked a turning point with victories at this year’s Top 100 SA Wine Challenge, the International Wine Challenge, then the Michelangelo Awards and now at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in the UK. 

Groot Constantia Grand Constance 2010 was one of five South African wines to win Gold (Outstanding) medals at the latest edition of the IWSC, one of the most established of the top competitions contested by wine-producing nations around the world. The other four outstanding SA laureates include the Franschhoek Vineyards Shiraz 2010 from DGB’s Franschhoek Cellar, Durbanville Hills Rhinofields Noble Late Harvest 2012, as well as the Private Bin R163 Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 and Private Bin Edelkeur Chenin Blanc Noble Late Harvest 2007 auction wines from Nederburg  see below for the names of all the Gold medal winners, or click here for more information about the competition plus the full results that extend to Silver (Outstanding), Silver and Bronze.

The maiden vintage of Grand Constance from Groot Constantia was 2003 and that of Vin de Constance from Klein Constantia was 1986. Both are the properties’ recreations of the sweet wines that were famous for their popularity among the rich and powerful or well-connected as well as authors and poets around the world during the 18th and 19th centuries  before the vineyards and cellars of Constantia experienced hard times lasting deep into the 20th century. And both are Natural Sweet wines from Muscat de Frontignan. But there the similarities end – even the bottles are different shapes.

Price wise, it would seem that the folk at Groot Constantia are more conservative with their tag of R392 versus Klein Constantia’s R545  until you remember or discover that the long-necked GC 375ml pack is smaller than KC’s 500ml beauty. 

And as to which nectar is most like that which Napoleon coveted and which Austen and Dickens mentioned in their books, we’ll probably never know  although the smart money is on the modern-day versions being ever-so-slightly more delicious!

 

GOLD MEDAL WINNERS AT IWSC 2013

Alto Shiraz 2011
Beau Constantia Aidan 2011 (red blend)
Credo Shiraz Merlot Viognier 2010 (Stellenbosch Vineyards)
De Wetshof The Site Chardonnay 2012
Delheim Edelspatz Noble Late Harvest 2012
Durbanville Hills Rhinofields Noble Late Harvest 2012
Eikendal Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Flagstone Dark Horse Shiraz 2010
Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (Bergkelder)
Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Chardonnay 2012 (Bergkelder)
Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Sauvignon Blanc Limited Release 2013 (Bergkelder)
Franschhoek Vineyards Shiraz 2010 (Franschhoek Cellar)
Groot Constantia Grand Constance 2010 (Natural Sweet)
Guardian Peak SMG 2010 (red blend)
Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2009 (red blend)
Kanonkop Pinotage 2004
Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
KWV Cape Tawny NV (port style)
KWV The Mentors Pinotage 2011
La Cave Brut 2011 (Cap Classique sparkling, Wellington Wines)
La Motte Pierneef Shiraz Viognier 2010
Mooiplaas Rosalind 2007 (red blend)
Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur Chenin Blanc Noble Late Harvest 2007
Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur Chenin Blanc Noble Late Harvest 2008
Nederburg Private Bin Eminence Muscadel Noble Late Harvest 2007
Nederburg Private Bin R163 Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2011
Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2012
Saronsberg Full Circle 2010 (red blend)
Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel 2009 (Cap Classique sparkling)
Simonsig Merindol Syrah 2010
Simonsig Mr Borio’s Shiraz 2011
Simonsig Tiara 2009 (red blend)
Spier Creative Block 3 2010 (red blend)
Spier Creative Block 5 2011 (red blend)
Stellenrust 45 Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2012
Tokara Reserve Collection Walker Bay Chardonnay 2011