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2017 Vin de Constance
Over 300 Years of History in Every Glass

It's over 20 years since I first tasted the incredible nectar that is Vin de Constance but I still look forward to each new release as if it was my first taste. Things have come a long way since that 1990 vintage. There's been significant investment in vineyard and winery, resulting in the wines becoming ever fresher and more refined. Remarkably, the price remains incredibly fair, making this the perfect substitute for those days when opening a bottle of Yquem would be a bit too much of a stretch!
 

2017 Vin de Constance, Klein Constantia 

£230 per 6x50cl Case, in bond (£286.72 inc duty & VAT)
£385 per 3x1.5ltr Case, in bond (£494.14 inc duty & VAT)

This is really sensational as always with dried-apricot, dried-pineapple and honey character with salted nuts and hints of white syrup. It’s very sweet, yet energetic and intense. It goes on for so long. And then again. Yet, it remains balanced. A great sweet wine through and through. Drink or hold.
97 points James Suckling

This is just remarkable... In the mouth, this is complex and intense – almost viscous – with fresh citrus & table grape fruit, showing a bit of spice and marmalade, some peach skin and honey. The finish is endless: the purity of this wine is astonishing, but it’s not at all cloying, with some spicy phenolics adding the required detail, and a bit of alcoholic warmth. One of the world’s great sweet wines: you can cellar this with confidence. 
96 points Jamie Goode

First produced over 300 years ago as ‘Constantia’, Kings vied for possession of this wine; Louis Philippe sent emissaries from France to fetch it; Napoleon drank it on the island of St Helena to find solace in his lonely exile; Frederick the Great and Bismarck ordered it; Charles Dickens’ character Edwin Drood found support in it and Jane Austen recommended Constantia for its “healing powers on a disappointed heart”.

Following its resurrection in the 1980s (phylloxera having devasted the vineyards a century ago) this estate has rejoined the ranks of the world’s elite wines.  Not ones to rest on their laurels, though, they continue to invest heavily in infrastructure, vineyards and equipment.

The new management team is aiming to replicate the Bush Vine conditions of the original 1700s vineyard. This has been found to encourage maximum sun exposure for early raisining on the vine, leading to an improved sugar acid balance. 

The Muscat de Frontignan is harvested in batches, from the riper berries that have great acidity to the raisins for sugar concentration. These batches form the perfect ratio between sugar, alcohol and acidity, which allows the wine to stop fermentation naturally. Each lot is harvested and sorted by hand, then macerated and vinified separately. After a long fermentation, the batches are then blended together and aged in a combination of 60% new French oak, Hungarian oak and French acacia barrels.

 

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