Vin de Constance 2016, Klein Constantia

There are few wines in the world that can match the quality, value, fame and pedigree of Vin de Constance and we are delighted to bring you the stunning latest release: Vin de Constance 2016. Neal Martin has given it his joint-highest ever score for Vin de Constance, a magnificent 97 (equal to the 2007), raving about its “fine precision… killer line of acidity and disarming purity”. There is no doubt that this is a wine that stands shoulder to shoulder with the finest examples of its type from anywhere in the world and yet is available at a fraction of the price of its more famous rivals.

Whilst its fame has long been assured thanks to the long list of royal, historic and literary connections (Vin de Constance was a favourite of Napoleon, was served by the Queen at a state banquet for Chinese President Xi Jinping at Buckingham Palace a few years back – alongside the great Haut Brion 1989 – and also makes an appearance in the works of Dickens, Baudelaire and Austen) Vin de Constance is a wine that deserves to be taken extremely seriously primarily because of what is going into the bottle.

Last year BI were invited to a unique tasting, the biggest ever VDC vertical held in the UK; not only did this give us great insight into the trials and tribulations which have faced the young master winemaker Matt Day in recreating the perfect ‘version’ of Vin de Constance, it also proved that his personal methodology for achieving the perfect balance of acidity, alcohol and sweetness, is bang on the money. Since he took the reins full time in 2012, having worked alongside former winemaker Adam Mason for 3 years prior to that, the wines have achieved incredible quality and have longevity with potential considerably greater than those which have gone before.

Vin de Constance differs from the sweet wines of Sauternes and Barsac, and indeed Tokaji (with which it is often compared), in that it is made entirely without botrytis. The grapes are left on the vine until they are fully raisined, as was the old method; and yet the wine achieves a level of complexity, freshness and purity that puts it on a level with the finest wines of these famous European origins. With the last release from Yquem, the 2017, hitting the market at GBP 1764 per 6, this release at GBP 234 per 6 makes absolutely no sense – and yet it makes all the sense in the world.

“As for the prices for Vin de Constance, well, if I happen to taste better value for money than recent vintages I will let you know - but don’t hang around waiting. I mean, under $50 for a meticulously crafted, profound, rare and utterly delicious world class wine? What are you waiting for?”  Neal Martin

Vin de Constance 2016, Klein Constantia

97pts Neal Martin, Vinous“The 2016 Vin de Constance is matured in 50% French acacia oak, Hungarian oak and regular French oak, and 50% in French foudres. This has more delineation and precision on the nose compared to the previous vintage, offering acacia honey, quince, saffron and touches of elderflower in the background. The palate is very well balanced with fine precision, a killer line of acidity and disarming purity toward a finish that lingers in the mouth. Stunning.”

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GBP 234 per case (6x50cl) IB.

Previous Recommendations

LA GRANDE ANNÉE 2012
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Garrus 2017, Chateau d'Esclans
2016 Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore
Vin de Constance 2016, Klein Constantia
History in a bottle
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