Klein Constantia’s Elegant Sauvignon Blancs

We recently paid a visit to Klein Constantia, part of Simon van der Stel’s Constantia estate and vineyard established in 1685. Over the ensuing 338 years the estate has seen many changes, including the 20th century creation of a state cooperative (KWV) that controlled almost all wine production and sales.  Klein Constantia resumed bottling under its own label in 1986 and immediately gained fame for its Sauvignon Blanc, crafted by Ross Gower who continued making the wine for almost two decades. The winemaker today is Matt Day (shown here) who has international winemaking experience in Sancerre, Napa Valley, and the Barossa Valley.

Sauvignon Blanc is the most important grape of Klein Constantia with its cool, steeply sloped vineyards on the Constantiaberg located, surprisingly enough, within the city limits of Cape Town. Inspired by his experience at Domaine Pascal Jolivet, Matt is a meticulous winemaker, beginning in the vineyard. The harvest includes multiple passes through 43 different blocks with all the parcels kept separate during fermentation. The sites vary in terms of altitude, soil, and aspect.  The wines are made in an oxidative style using mostly ambient yeast and maturation in stainless steel, neutral oak and acacia barrels.

The US importer is F. Wildman.

The Wines

Klein Constantia 2020 Clara Sauvignon Blanc Constantia 93 Complicated aromas and flavors of lemon citrus, minerals and thyme with a clean, full mouth feel. Finely textured and finishing with notes of lemon grass and stony minerals. Beautifully done. Free run juice sourced from 6 parcels vinified separately with ambient yeast in 500L neutral oak and aged 9 months in 30% new French oak and Acacia barrels. pH 3.16 13.8% alc.

Klein Constantia 2018 Metis Sauvignon Blanc Constantia 93 Made in collaboration with winemaker Clément Olivet of Sancerre’s Pascal Jolivet, the Metis Sauvignon Blanc is a silky, elegant wine showing a steely character with notes of cucumber, nettles and citrus. Long, precise stony finish. Sourced from high lying blocks, gently destemmed, fermented with ambient yeast and 20% matured 12 months on the lees in 500L neutral oak. pH 3.26, 14% alc.

Perdeblokke Vineyard

Klein Constantia 2020 Perdeblokke Sauvignon Blanc Constantia 94  Very fragrant of nettles, black currant and citrus. Especially pure and focused. Dense on the mid-palate with an almost chewy texture, finishing on a saline mineral note. Sourced from two sections of an exceptional single vineyard of rich soils on the slopes of the Constantiaberg; each fermented separately in stainless steel followed by aging on the lees in oak for 9 months. Made only in exceptional vintages. pH 3.08, 13.8% alc.

Source : https://i-winereview.com/blog/index.php/2023/03/07/klein-constantias-elegant-sauvignon-blancs/

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