A carefully crafted estate blend of 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc, 23% Petit Verdot, 18% Merlot and 11% Malbec, matured for 19 months in 74% new and 26% 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 15 December 2020. With no fining agents used during the production of this wine, a harmless sediment may occur during maturation in the bottle. This is a classic and elegant vintage of the Constantia Glen FIVE, which will continue to age and develop admirably in bottle. Under ideal cellaring conditions, this vintage should benefit from bottle maturation of 10 to 15 years from harvest.
2019 was a particularly cool vintage at Constantia Glen. A cool ripening season allows for gentle and slow ripening of the grapes, and this leads to greater complexity of flavour precursors in the grapes, as well as good acidity at the time of picking. The resulting wines are elegant and fresh with bright aromatics. The slow ripening also allowed for the slow accumulation of sugars, and excellent tannin development, so we could work with grapes that had achieved good phenolic ripeness. Our dryland vineyards showed remarkable buffering capacity and the 2019 vintage has delivered extremely elegant and refined red wines with great richness, texture, aromatic purity, and persistent, mouth-coating tannins. The 2019 harvest commenced with the first blocks of Merlot and Malbec on 19 and 20 March respectively. The red wine harvest then turned into quite a rushed one, due to some inclement weather that forced us to get our grapes in with a fair amount of haste toward the end of harvest. The final picking was our estate Petit Verdot vineyard on 9 April 2019, and this variety turned out beautifully, making up an impressive 23% of this year’s blend of Constantia Glen FIVE.
Youthful in colour with a very dark ruby core unwinding into a bright and lively magenta rim.
The first impression is one of dark fruit aromas of Morello cherries, ripe blackcurrant and juicy black plums underpinned by a fragrance of dried herbs. Savoury background notes of cocoa, cedar, and graphite demand further exploration. Floral aromas start emerging from the glass and the bouquet concludes with apparent notes of dried violet flowers, cassis, and wild fynbos.
The palate is rich and concentrated with the dark fruit flavours that were evident on the nose, but the mid-palate displays fantastic balance and finesse. This exceptionally cool vintage has delivered a wine that is perhaps more elegant than its couple of predecessors, but it remains a compellingly structured wine with excellent freshness and depth. The delicious, fine-grain tannins provide mouth-coating texture and excellent length. The wine comes across as tightly wound in its youth with incredible ageing potential. The typical Constantia freshness provides for a long, delicious finish that will have you beckoning for another sip.
94 pts Tim Atkin MW 2023
The proportions may vary from vintage to vintage, but this is always a blend of five red Bordeaux varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon is just the dominant grape in 2019, with the remaining 75% made up of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec.
4 ½ Stars 2023 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
Notable precision, presence & poise in 19 (93 pts), showcasing cab, cab franc & petite verdot (25/23/23) & 2 other Bordeaux varieties at peak ripeness. Weightless concentration of cassis, graphite, dark plum & dried tealeaves with superb tannin structure & supportive 18 months in 74% new oak. Ageworthy, like last tasted 17 ***** (96 pts).
92 pts Wine Spectator May 2023
A robust yet harmonious red, with an aromatic vein of mesquite smoke, tobacco and bacon fat serving as a savory thread that winds through concentrated flavors of crème de cassis, olive tapenade, fig cake and hot stone. Packs a chewy core of tannins, which are enwrapped in the rich profile and emerge to firm the well-spiced finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec. Drink now through 2033. 2,000 cases made, 50 cases imported.
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