Today’s UK release of Klein Constantia’s 2011 Vin de Constance marks a brand new chapter in the history of this legendary estate which was first established in the Western Cape in 1685.
Most recently, in 2011, the property was bought by Charles Harman and Zdenek Bakala. Prior to that, it was owned by the Jooste family, which acquired it in 1986 and restarted the production of Vin de Constance, after a century of hiatus. The family also set about restoring the property and its wines to their former glory.
Klein Constantia’s current owners have also invested heavily in its infrastructure, vineyards and equipment with the firm intention of taking its wines to an even higher level.
‘2011 is the first vintage to be produced under the new regime, so it’s very exciting for us,’ says Klein Constantia’s winemaker Matt Day. ‘2011 produced a small crop of excellent quality. The summer was long, warm and dry; perfect conditions for ripening Vin de Constance’s Muscat de Frontignac grapes.’
‘In order to improve the freshness of the wine, we decided to reduce the time spent in barrel slightly to 3 years,’ Day continues. ‘The 2011 was aged in mix of French oak, Hungarian oak and Acacia barrels, 60% of which are new.’
The previous vintage of Klein Constantia’s Vin de Constance was the 2009 as the new owners took the decision not to release a 2010.
‘The reason for this is very simple,’ explains Klein Constantia Managing Director Hans Astrom. ‘We did not deem the 2010 to have the qualities of a VdC. Severe selection and scrutiny have become our mantra in our quest to produce one the great wines of the world.’
Meanwhile the 2012, which was bottled two months ago also shows extraordinary promise but will not be released until May 2016.