93 pts Tim Atkin MW 2021
Appealingly approachable at just three years of age, this has aromas of rosemary and sage, assertive new wood, hints of balsam, blackcurrant leaf and tobacco leaf, granular tannins and an elegant, tapering finish. 2023-30
92 pts Vinous Nov 2021
The 2018 Five works much better than the Three on the nose, delivering vivid blackberry and raspberry fruit; cedar and eucalyptus scents emerge with time. The palate is medium-bodied with a liberal sprinkling of white pepper on the entry, good depth and grip, and curry powder and a touch of garam masala on the finish. Excellent.
HARVEST SUMMARY BY WINEMAKER, JUSTIN VAN WYK
2018 was really a fantastic vintage for the red varieties at Constantia Glen. The flavour of the grapes at the time of picking was concentrated and intense with bright aromatics. Good winter rains in June and July of 2017 provided the ideal foundation for our dryland vineyards before they embarked on a cool, yet dry growing season, stretching from September 2017 to March 2018, when the harvest commenced. The slow and long ripening allowed for the slow accumulation of sugars, and grapes that retained phenomenal acidity right up until picking. Our
estate vineyards showed remarkable buffering capacity and the 2018 vintage has delivered extremely elegant and refined red wines with great richness, texture, aromatic purity, and persistent, mouth-coating tannins. The wines also have great structure and acidity, which will
allow for superlative bottle-ageing. The 2018 harvest was quite late, commencing with the first blocks of Merlot and Malbec on 26 March 2018, and we picked the red varieties over 4 weeks with the last block of the Cabernet Sauvignon coming into the winery on 18 April 2018.
Youthful in colour with a very dark magenta core unwinding into a bright and lively garnet rim.
Bright aromas of ripe blackcurrant, juicy plums and fragrant dried herbs. This first impression is underpinned by a multitude of savoury notes that demand further exploration. Graphite, cedar and floral aromas start emerging from the glass, and finally once the whirling liquid comes to rest; the bouquet concludes with hints of violet, cassis and wild fynbos florae.
The palate has a dramatic entry as one consumes the concentrated dark fruit flavours that were evident on the nose, but the mid-palate displays fantastic balance between refinement and power. The textbook ripening conditions of the vintage combined with meticulous attention to extraction- and maturation methods in the cellar, have led to a compellingly structured wine with excellent freshness and depth. The delicious, fine-grain tannins provide a structured backbone and incredible mouth-coating texture. The wine comes across as tightly wound in its youth with enormous ageing potential. The ever-present Constantia freshness provides for a long, lingering finish that will have you beckoning for another sip.
A carefully crafted blend of 30% Cabernet Franc, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 16% Petit Verdot and 10% Malbec, matured for 19 months in 75% new and 25% second-fill 225 litre French oak barrels. Following barrel maturation, the wine only received a very light filtration before making its way into bottle on 21 January 2020. With no fining agents used during the production of this wine, a harmless sediment may occur during maturation in the bottle. This is truly a stunning vintage of the Constantia Glen FIVE, which we hope will continue to age and develop beautifully in bottle, and it should easily do so for 12 to 15 years under ideal cellaring conditions.