Thursday, January 25, 2018

Wine tasting at Beau Constantia

We have lots of overseas and local friends visiting at this time of the year and took our friend Terry on a trip to Constantia last Saturday. We also took local friends along. with whom we wanted to visit a couple of nursery and garden pot shops on the way. Beau Constantia is a wine farm at the very top of Constantia Nek with amazing views. We were there for a wine tasting and to check out the Chefs Warehouse restaurant, which is in the stable of Liam Tomlin, SA's top chef this year, as we want to eat there soon. We know and like his food and have heard such good things about this particular restaurant. The chef running this restaurant is Ivor Jones and it has a sophisticated tapas menu for one price and several courses that change regularly.
Those views. You can see Constantia Glen and Eagles Nest wineries on the hill to the right
Helpful staff in the tasting room. We were a bit alarmed when we arrived to be asked if we had made a booking, as never before have we had to book at a wine tasting centre on a wine farm. However, they did find us an inside table quickly. It was a bit windy outside. Tastings cost R50 per person for 4 of their wines. The staff are enthusistic but still need abit of training, e.g. when asked if the MCC was a Blanc de blanc, the reply was, "No. it's made from Chardonnay"
It is views all round in the glass box
The wines are made by Justin van Wyk, who is also the winemaker at Constantia Glen next door. We began with the entry level Pas de Nom White blend of 97% Sauvignon Blanc and 3% Viognier. R99 a bottle. The little Viognier certainly shows itself large, as the wine is full of ripe peaches and limes with a full round mouth feel
Next wine was the Pas de Nom entry level Red wine, a blend of Cab Franc, Malbec and Shiraz which is what we were told. On checking their website they have only the 2015 which contains Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon so we are a little confused. It began soft and juicy with the Malbec showing well and has a nice kick of acid on the marmite end. R125. This was followed by the just released 2014 Lucca a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Violets on the nose and palate its soft and silky with lovely cherries and berries, layers of savoury and sweet. Needs time and is a bit tinny on the end from the tannins
Lots of young people meet there. The final wine was the 2014 Aiden, a blend of Shiraz, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon Full of spice, cinnamon, black pepper with some green leaves, dark berries and plums R245. And then, as a small surprise, they gave us a taste of their Pas de Nom MCC Blanc de Blanc. R195. Nice and crisp and dry with typical chardonnay characteristics of limes and lemons and minerality. Will sell
LIKE the sign below!
And the friendly reception at the entrance to Chefs Warehouse below the wine tasting centre. It was very busy and weekends seem to be the busiest at the moment, so we may come back during the week. You can order some of the food to be served upstairs in the Tasting room

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