Charles Dickens’ favourite tipple
I am fortunate to have tasted this illustrious wine – a favourite of Dickens, Baudelaire, Austen and Napoleon – on many occasions back to the 1986 vintage and it always impresses me greatly. One of the frustrating aspects of being a winemaker is that you must exercise Herculean levels of patience when making your wines.
Matt Day started working at Klein Constantia four years ago, so it has been a very long wait for him to show me the greatest release I have ever tasted from this property. I am delighted to report that the first “full vintage”under Matt is officially “off the scale”.
The wine gives off an insane apricot perfume and there is mind-blowing sweetness here (164 gm/l), but that is underpinned with the most precise acidity imaginable. That pleases me as I have long said that this wine needs more acid and zip to balance the phenomenal sweetness from the muscat grapes.
Matt has achieved this balance of sweetness and acid with characteristic élan. The harvest took a record three months to complete, with 26 passes through the vineyards. And he only pressed 500 litres of juice from each tonne of fruit!
The result is the most focused and the most exquisitely balanced Vin de Constance of all – patience is truly a virtue!