Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 9/23/2014
Klein Constantia Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
Klein Constantia Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
(search item no. 55370)
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 9/23/2014: $23.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Grown on the warm, lower, north-facing slopes of the Klein Constantia vineyards at 70-100m above sea level. Vines benefit from prevailing cool southerly sea breezes during the summer. Soils comprise of decomposed Table Mountain granite and are not irrigated.

Deep intensity ruby in colour. A distinctly minty nose, characteristic of the Schleip clone. Ripe elderberry fruit and mocha, with complex earthiness on the palate. Well-integrated, firm tannins give the wine an austere structure which will allow further bottle maturation, for a total of 7-10 years.

My Notes:

About Klein Constantia:

While "klein" means "small," Klein Constantia’s reputation is anything but. With its historic Cape Dutch homestead and breathtaking location, it has frequently been described as one of the world’s most beautiful vineyards. In 2002, Wine and Spirits Magazine named Klein Constantia among the Top 25 Vineyards of the World. During the 18th and 19th centuries, "the sweet, luscious, and excellent wine called Constantia" became one of the most legendary and sought-after wines in the world. Prized by kings, emperors, and nobles, the iconic bottling could be found in the cellars of many of the courts of Europe. Napoleon consumed a bottle of Constantia each day during his exile on St. Helena, and the fabled elixir was immortalized in the works of Baudelaire, Charles Dickens, and Jane Austen.

After phylloxera devastated the vineyards of Constantia at the end of the 19th century, Klein Constantia fell into disrepair. In 1980, the run-down farm was purchased by Duggie Jooste, whose family had been involved in the South African wine trade for four generations. Duggie and his son Lowell began to revitalize the farm and using vines propagated from the original vineyard stock, they sought to revive the glorious Constantia wine of yore.

The cellar is headed by the energetic young Adam Mason, a Stellenbosch graduate who gained significant winemaking experience in France before joining Klein Constantia in 2004. The recreated "Vin de Constance" remains the estate’s crown jewel. Over the past two decades, the dazzling nectar has received immense critical acclaim and has become a modern-day legend in its own right.