South Africa Red Bordeaux Varietal under £10
Klein Constantia Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Constantia, the Cape’s oldest vineyard region, traces its wine producing history back to 1689 and has long enjoyed a reputation for world class white wines, especially its delectable dessert wines.
It’s taken longer to win its spurs for red wines, but this classy Bordeaux varietal Trophy Winner makes a compelling case for Constantia’s reds to be taken just as seriously.
For winemaker Adam Mason, a rigorous leaf-roll management program “is ultimately the biggest contributor to the new generation of Cabernet Sauvignon at Klein Constantia,” this vintage with a splash of Petit Verdot and Malbec. Across the Cape, the wholesale replacement of leaf-roll virused stock (which suffers from retarded ripening) has ushered in a new era of South African red winemaking.
Only planted in 2003 and 2005, Klein Constantia’s Cabernet is located on lower, warmer, north-easterly facing slopes on granitic soils with clay and silica sand. It remains leaf-roll free thanks to the annual removal of infected vines, release of predators (wasps and ladybirds) which keep the leaf-roll virus vectoring mealy bug at bay and ant control (ants are apparently the natural defenders of the mealy bug)!
And the timing of Constantia’s new wave reds couldn’t be better. Remarking on Klein Constantia Cabernet’s “old world freshness and elegance,” Mason points out “the appreciation of more elegantly styled, fresher reds affords Constantia’s reds an audience they did not necessarily have a few years ago.”