Constantia Glen Three 2011
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
One of the jewels of the Constantia Wine Valley, South Africa’s oldest producing wine region situated less than 20 minutes from the Cape Town city centre, Constantia Glen welcomes wine lovers to taste and buy their handcrafted wines straight from the cellar door.
Known for superb cool climate Sauvignon Blancs shaped by the vineyards’ singular location and close proximity to False Bay, Constantia Glen is also gaining recognition for their two classically styled, yet distinctly individual red Bordeaux-style blends.
Constantia Glen is situated off Main Road on the saddle below Constantia Nek.
One of the most famous and celebrated wine regions imported throughout Europe during the 18th century, Constantia was founded in 1685 by a Dutch governor named Simon van der Stel who ran a successful wine farm for many years.
Constantia vineyards, planted in ancient soil beds, climb up the east-facing slopes of the Constantiaberg, where the vines receive cool sea breezes blowing in from False Bay.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends
Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.
Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.
Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.