Latest releases from Constantia Glen, Steenberg, Twee Jongegezellen and Thelema

Let the wonderful journey of discovery continue!

Constantia Glen’s Sauvignon Blanc 2020 is “beautifully refined and elegant with a mineral edge and crisp acidity”. Initial aromas of lemongrass and lime lead to a bolder, more tropical spectrum enlivened by hints of blackcurrant, citrus and elderflower.

The Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc 2020 is available at a cellar door price of R195.

Catharina, Steenberg Vineyard’s flagship red, has come full circle since its maiden 1997 vintage with the release of the first dedicated Cape Bordeaux blend in almost a decade.

Steenberg Catharina 2017 is a pure Constantia blend of merlot (79%), petit verdot (12%), malbec (5%) and cabernet sauvignon (4%). Widely held as a standout vintage, the wine stood up to critical acclaim in London with a score of 91 points at the 2020 International Wine & Spirit Competition.

“Bold yet suave, forthright yet subtle, assured and alluring, Catharina’s legacy lives on in the wine and continues to inspire the passion and determination of the entire Steenberg cellar team who created this signature wine. Each vintage is blended from only the best barrels and matured for 24 months in predominantly new French oak”.

Catharina 2017 reveals layers of concentrated raspberry, blackcurrant and black cherry on both the nose and palate, accentuated by a velvety texture from the petit verdot component. Light herbal notes imparted by the merlot lend a refreshing finish, while the new additions of malbec and cabernet sauvignon round off the blend adding structure and depth. Dark fruit and spice, lifting acidity and a polished tannic finish, create the optimal pairing for most red meat and rich, sauce based dishes.

Steenberg’s Catharina 2017 is available at a cellar door price of R310 per bottle.

The making of vintage-only Krone MCC, a commitment to the vintage and the character of each harvest, celebrates a moment in time and place, the unique hallmarks of every vintage as directed by nature: from soil to vine to bottle.

The 300-year-old Twee Jonge Gezellen Estate outside Tulbagh is the historic home of Krone, a collection of vintage-only, terroir-driven Méthode Cap Classiques made from the finest, most distinctive grapes.

Traditional Champagne grape varieties chardonnay and pinot noir have been night-harvested since the early 1980s to preserve the quality and delicate aromas and flavours of the grapes. Only the free-run juice is used for Krone vintage-only Méthode Cap Classique: the first 500 litres per ton.

Time, patience and dedication to handcrafted Cap Classique creates the perfect platform for each vintage to shine. Twee Jonge Gezellen has the honour of being home to the first underground cellar in Africa. Here, vintage after vintage of Vintage-Only MCC is stacked in its coves as well as being hand-turned in traditional pupitres, while the Méthode Cap Classique matures on the lees. Truly handcrafted wines.

Look out for Krone Vintage Borealis Cuvée Brut 2019, Krone Vintage Rosé Cuvée Brut 2019, Krone Vintage Night Nectar Demi-Sec 2019 and Krone Vintage Night Nectar Demi-Sec Rosé 2019.

Krone’s 2019 Vintage Cap Classiques are available for purchase at the estate, online at kronemcc.com/ collections/vintage-mcc and are widely available nationally at select liquor retailers and grocers for about R165 per bottle.

Thelema Vineyards’ Rabelais red blend originally started out as the prestigious Thelema Cape Winemakers Guild blend before evolving into the Rabelais label with the 2007 vintage being produced originally from only cabernet sauvignon and merlot. From 2009 petit verdot started to replace the merlot portion and now the blend appears fairly settled at approximately a 90% cabernet sauvignon and 10% petit verdot mix. The Rabelais represents the very best Bordeaux components from the Thelema range where the wines clearly show concentration, polished ripe tannins and obvious refinement.

The last in a trilogy of drought vintages, the 2018 harvest produced fruit of sufficient quality for Thelema to produce their iconic Rabelais blend again. This year the cabernet sauvignon portion comes in at 85% with the remaining 15% devoted to petit verdot yet again. After fermentation, the wine was left for 12 hours on the skins before pressing and racking into 100% new 225ℓ French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and further ageing for 20 months.

Quite an individual wine, the 2018 Rabelais is beautifully characterful and expressive with vivid notes of sour black plum compote, saline black currant, kelp and oyster shell, unsmoked cigars and freshly cracked black pepper, all tightly smothered beneath an aromatic iron curtain of graphite and cedar spice. The palate shows an impressively polished texture with sleek marble like tannins, firm but super tight knit and precise, a medium-bodied harmonious weight of red and black berry fruits and an incredibly long, saline, rock salt finish. Plenty of attractive wet river pebble minerality combines with graphite, lead pencil and complexing brûléed wood spice nuances to offer all the “salt & pepper” complexity that should evolve in bottle to one day make this a truly classy, complex Cape Bordeaux blend.

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