The Last Word Intimate Hotels' Constantia Good Wine Awards 2016
Wine celebration is central to our lifestyle at The Last Word Intimate Hotels, particularly in the Constantia and Franschhoek valleys in which we take root and through which the majority of our guests relish in the wine tasting experiences an abundance of local vineyards have to offer. As we head into another Cape Town winter, we anticipate that perfect glass of red wine before a crackling fire; paired with a delicious roast dinner and accompanied by rustic country vegetables and crème brulee dessert. Most who visit us know that our home property is nestled at the heart of the Constantia Valley, the perfect place for an evolving and adventurous wine palate to take flight. Hence, we give you The Last Word Intimate Hotels’ Constantia Good Wine Awards; an indulgence and opinion:
The Black Swan Sauvignon Blanc
Remaining true to its name, this wine is still regarded as an absolute anomaly in the Constantia sauvignon blanc trade. Yielding aromas of white citrus blossom, lime, sweet lemon peel, melon, nettles and a characteristic Constantia minerality on the nose, its perfume is outstanding and acidity well matched by its round, pearlescent palate. Surprisingly, the wine spends no time in barrel, yet boasts a beautiful honey blonde colour and undergoes extensive lees contact in cold stainless steel where an aromatic yeast births its nuances after eight regular months of stirring. Steenberg selects the finest grapes on their estate for what can only be described as their premier sauvignon blanc.
Semillon | 2014
Receiving five stars from us and from Platters South African Wine Guide, the Uitsig Semillon is in a class of its own. Exuding connotations of lime candy, key limes, tangerine and bees’ wax, the wine is ripe, riveting and less earthy than its predecessors, and Steenberg’s own, yet this subtlety is what sets it apart.
2016 Platters gave this wine four and a half stars and we thought we’d be fair and give it five. A beautiful, dark crimson blend of 40% Petit Verdot, 25% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, 15% Malbec and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, Glen Five sports nuances of ripe black cherries, allspice and crème de cassis which develop aromatically once the wine is decanted.
Catharina | 2014
An annual celebration of the finest French red barrels and vintages on the estate, the Catharina Red Blend stands as Steenberg Vineyards’ flagship red blend. Praised in 2011 as an unparalleled gem, Catharina continues to delight in 2014. Comprised of 68% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Shiraz, the wine exhibits a brilliant ruby colour with a robust bouquet of black olives, dried fynbos, mint, cloves and cardamom. Dark cherries and mulberries ripen at finish and will continue to pronounce their elegance with a ten-year bottle maturation.
Sebastiaan | 2006
Benefiting enormously from a long, cool growing season, Sebastiaan, like Catharina, offers a delicate palate of cassis and dark cherry fruits. Tobacco leaf and mild mint are exuded en bouquet along with a cinnamon-clove spice, accented by notes of toasty earth and aged leather. The wine is a beautiful blend of 45% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot 8% Petit Verdot and a slight 2% Malbec.
Gouverneurs Reserve | 2012
Another signature and unmissable red blend presents itself in the form of Groot Constantia’s Gouverneurs Reserve. Yielding those trademark cherry, blackberry and cigar-box nuances, the wine also delivers hints of plum and black pepper upon finish. Winemaker, Boela Gerber suggests a truly South African roast leg of Springbok, studded with bacon to pair and we’re not arguing. Any international guest to the Constantia Valley would jump at the opportunity to pair such a riveting wine with a local banquet of the nature.
Shiraz | 2013
In our opinion, this wine is by far the best shiraz that the Constantia Valley has to offer; despite stiff competition from surrounding estates. A pristine, boutique family owned vineyard, Eagle’s Nest is the new kid on the block that has gained a reputation for its acclaimed wines and atmospheric beauty.
The 2012 vintage received five stars in the 2016 Platters South African Wine Guide as well as a Double Gold Veritas Award for excellence. 2013 is upholding the legacy. Spending a lengthily twenty months in French Oak barrels, the wine displays a refreshing and lively purple hue while aromas of bramble leaf, crushed red pepper and violets permeate the nose and a creamy mouth filling tannin boasts a quintessential white pepper palate.
There you have it folks. Our 2016 Constantia Good Wine choices.
These are by no means the only options in the valley. If you’re feeling adventurous, you’ll need a couple of days to visit all of the farms and sample their unique red and white wine offerings.
The Constantia bubblies are also highly acclaimed.
Drinking your favourite wine should be an intimate, luxury experience. And we’re all about those after all…