Our Vin de Constance 2018 has won 5 stars & ‘Sweet Wine of the Year’ at this year’s Platter’s by Diner’s Club Wine Guide.
Wines receiving the sought-after five-star rating in Platter’s went through a rigorous process of sighted and blind assessment by a team of experts. Bottlings that are judged to be “Superlative, a South African classic” are given the highest ranking of five stars, equal to 95 points or better on the 100-point rating scale. Of the 5 star wines, the top performers within each category are awarded ‘Wines of the Year’.
This 43rd edition of South Africa’s favourite wine guide features well over 900 producers, merchants and brands, including 37 new ones, and over 8,000 locally produced wines, as well as brandies, husk spirits and sherry-style wines.
The last hour of the Strauss & Co South African Wine NFT (non-fungible token) online auction saw frenetic bidding as a rare lot of Vin de Constance was sold for a staggering R1,251,800 including commissions (£62,799k). This unique lot was part of a collection of 5 of South Africa’s finest wines that went under the hammer in the country’s first NFT online auction. An exciting opportunity allowing investors from across the globe the chance to bid on the ownership of older & future vintages of the legendary Vin de Constance.
The NFT offered the first 40 vintages of Klein Constantia’s world-famous sweet wine, including the 1986 through to 2012 in 500ml bottles as well as three magnums of each vintage from 2013-2027, estimated at R550,000-R750,000 (£28-£40k). Many of the wines within the Vin de Constance NFT are extremely rare – with only a handful of 1986 Vin de Constance left in the library, virtually no complete verticals are likely to exist outside of the estate.
Hans Astrom, Vice Chairman & shareholder of Klein Constantia, comments “We’re excited about this auction. It’s the first time in modern times, we have ever put a complete lot of Vin De Constance up for sale with the 40 vintages spanning over 5 decades. The wines have all been cellared at Klein Constantia, which guarantees provenance and authenticity. It is truly a unique and rare opportunity to acquire one of the world’s most collectible wines. This auction is a great opportunity for interested wine amateurs or collectors from all around the world to acquire some of South Africa’s great and rare wines that normally are not seen in the market. Fine wines are appreciated all around the world and the best of South African wines deserve to be on this platform as well.”
The other fine NFTs that featured in this prestigious auction were Meerlust’s 50-year vertical of their famous Rubicon (reaching R1,081,100), Vilafonté’s Series C 2003-2027 (reaching R569,000), Mullineux’s Olerasay 1-20 (reaching R318,640) & Kanonkop’s Paul Sauer 2000-2025 (reaching R250,360). R93,800 was simultaneously raised for charities critical to the wine industry.
What is a Non-Fungible Token (NFT)? An NFT is a digital asset representing the ownership of either a real life or digital object that is generally bought and sold online, frequently with cryptocurrency. Having taken the world by storm recently, Non-Fungible Tokens are quickly becoming recognised as a highly efficient way to package collections of wines for trading and investment. The digital contract is stored on the Polygon blockchain (a cryptocurrency financial services company) and includes provenance, pricing, transaction, sensorial and ageing information. Once auctioned, the NFT can be traded by the owner on any platform.
Vin de Constance is a natural sweet wine made with muscat grapes grown at Klein Constantia’s historic vineyard on the Cape Peninsula. It is the re-creation of the legendary Constantia wine made in the 18th and 19th centuries, sought after by royalty and dignitaries across the world. Firmly established and highly sought-after, current vintages are traded on the Bordeaux market.
“I also rated a barrel sample of what may be South Africa’s most famous wine: Klein Constantia Vin de Constance Natural Sweet Wine 2018. It could be the greatest Vin de Constance I have ever tasted in my career, with its unique balance of sweetness and savoriness & an almost salty undertone.” – James Suckling.
A barrel sample of Klein Constantia’s Vin de Constance 2018 has been awarded an unprecedented rating of 98-99 points by James Suckling, internationally regarded as one of the world’s most influential wine critics. The eponymous editor-in-chief of JamesSuckling.com described Klein Constantia’s iconic natural sweet as a ‘unique wine worldwide’ and the 2018 vintage as ‘sublime’. His tasting notes for the wine read as follows:
‘Very perfumed aromas of lemon zest, ginger and lychee. Some apricots as well. Full-bodied with brightness, freshness and phenolic tension. It’s sweet, but not overly sweet. Salty and umami notes with some salted caramel.’
According to Suckling, a wine rated 90 points or more is ‘outstanding’ while a wine rated 95 points or more is a ‘must buy’. Wines rated from barrel, or unfinished wines, are rated with two point ranges such as 91-92 or 92-93 (98-99 in the case of the Vin de Constance 2018).
Vin de Constance 2018 is due to be released in September 2021. Keep an eye on our social media for more details.
“Harvest 2021 turned out to be surprisingly challenging, but it’s a harvest that yielded amazing results across the board” – Matthew Day, Winemaker.
Recently we wrapped up our harvest for 2021 at both Klein Constantia and Anwilka, our sister farm in Stellenbosch. And what an unexpected one it was!
With some late storms during the flowering season, a cold & wet build up to harvest – the season at Klein Constantia was off to a much later start than usual. In fact, it was the latest harvest we have experienced in over a decade! A milestone was reached this year – with all of our fermentations being 100% wild! By reducing our sulphur usage and only adding organic nutrients when needed, we are able to showcase terroir driven wines, highlighting our unique Klein Constantia style. A quality vintage that looks to produce some amazing wines.
Over at Anwilka in the prime Helderberg region of Stellenbosch, they too were off to a slow and unpredictable start. Despite the irregular ripening, they experienced a ‘textbook’ season. With the Syrah looking promising for the Anwilka blend, 2021 is looking to be the vintage to look out for.
To view our annual harvest video, click below: