” A gorgeous perfumed nose of rose petals, musk and barley sugar with preserved ginger. The palate is rich and super intense with fresh mint, creamy brulée flavours and a hint of nut.” 96 points, Decanter 2017 WorldWine Awards
The history of this famous wine goes back over 300 years. So revered was it that the Kings of and Queens of England and France sent out emissaries to fetch it. Napoleon drank it in exile on St Helena; both Charles Dickens and Jane Austen referred to it in their novels.
However, at the end of the 19th Century a virulent pest and disease wiped out the vineyards and this superb wine tragically disappeared. However, in the 1980s the estate of Klein Constantia, on whose land the originalwine had been made, started the renaissance of Vin de Constance – and to the recipe from centuries before. And what a recipe!
Made from old vine Muscat, the grapes are deliberately left on the vine for an extended period until they shrivel and desiccate, and are incredibly sweet. Meticulously hand harvested, the berries are crushed and skins are left in contact with the juice for up to 10 days, which extracts all the powerful aromatic elements of this variety. After a long, slow fermentation – incredibly lasting for up to a year on occasions – the wine is aged in large French and Hungarian oak casks (of which 60% are new) for up to 5 further years.
True to its heritage Klein Constantia package it in the original shaped bottle from 300 years ago. Made in very small quantities and always sold on allocation, this wine stands shoulder to shoulder with any of the other great sweet wines of the world, but at a significantly more attractive price!
Golden in colour, with an exuberant nose of orange peel, soft spice honeysuckle and elderflower. The palate is unbelievably rich, yet delicate and balanced – pure Seville orange marmalade with notes of raisin and vanilla. Coats the mouth – with a long, long honeyed finish. Totally intoxicating and seductive.
Drink this on its own after dinner, but would be wonderful with a classic tarte tatin. Also works well with aged and full bodied white cheeses
£48 ( 50 cl bottle)