Vin de Constance 2009

Klein Constantia

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Tasting Notes

Rich and unctuous, yet superbly racy, this offers a gorgeous panoply of dried apricot, fig, mango and quince flavors, underscored by a lively blood orange note and backed by a long, ginger- and green tea—filled finish. Youthfully tight, this should cruise for some time in the cellar. Muscat de Frontignan. Klein Constantia’s Vin de Constance, a dessert wine, is one of South Africa’s historic labels; its history stretches back 300 years. It’s produced from Muscat de Frontignan grapes, harvested late after they have shriveled on the vine to concentrate sugar content. Zdenek Bakala and Charles Harman purchased Klein Constantia in 2011, investing to modernize the vineyards and winery. The 2009 was vinified by Adam Mason (now with Mulderbosch), then bottled by current winemaker Matt Day, who arrived with the new ownership. It is the first South African wine to make Wine Spectator’s Top 10. #10, 2500 cases made.

Score: 95

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator Maturity: 2016-2030 15 November 2015

The 2009 Vin de Constance Natural Sweet Wine had been in bottle around six weeks when I tasted it at the estate. It was harvested over three months from 25 separate batches, each bunch selected by hand and raised for six months to one year in 500-liter barrels. Matthew told me that he is looking for less time in barrel and more time in bottle before release. Then again, the 2003 is still in barrel! This is the first vintage Matthew Day has been involved with from start to finish and he sees it as a cross between the 2007 and 2008. It has an intense marmalade, dried apricot, beeswax and honeycomb scents, your quintessential Vin de Constance nose, and it seems to muster more vigor with aeration. The palate is well-balanced with a spicy tincture on the entry, slightly oxidative, with nutty notes infusing the thickly layered honeyed fruit with touches of papaya and mango toward the finish with touches of rosewater and gripe water (a children's medicine for anyone without the privilege) on the aftertaste. Another superb Vin de Constance from Matthew Day.

Score: 94

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2014-2030 01 October 2014

It is one of the world's greatest sweet wines (it's in my top six). It is certainly the finest (unfortified) Muscat on the planet. It tastes like liquidised rainbows, unicorns, orange groves and comets combined. It also ages for an eternity, which serves to underline its mythical status. I have tasted every vintage since the modern era release of 1986 and they are all different, glorious and fascinating. Back to the 2009 vintage - the element I was alluding to earlier is an otherworldly backbone of amaro-style bitterness which completely blew me away. I am a vinous masochist and so I would love to see more and more of this thrilling element in VdC, in due course, because I adore the strictness which it brings to the mind-boggling orange brûlée fruit. The 2009 is wondrously corseted and this makes for compelling tasting.

Score: 19

Matthew Jukes, - 01 September 2014