Groot Constantia Grand Constance

I was invited to attend a food pairing experience at Jonkershuis Groot Constantia to celebrate the awards won by the 2013 Grand Constance.

Jonkershuis At Groot Constantia
Jonkershuis At Groot Constantia

Grand Constance is the French translation of Groot Constantia (groot = great in English). Boela Gerber, the current wine maker, started working at the estate shortly before the 2001 harvest. His aim was to make wine in the style of the 1700’s and the current Grand Constance is as similar as one can get to the wine drunk by Napoleon. It is a mix of red (20%) and white Muscat de Frontignan grapes and is a natural sweet wine. The grapes are left for an extra 6 weeks on the vine after the rest of the harvest is completed. These dry into raisins and the berries are crushed, stomped and then fermented on the skin. The high sugar before picking is what makes this a naturally sweet wine which is aged for 2 years in 4th or 5th fill oak barrels. The 375ml bottle is packaged in a wooden box and contains an information card. The box is full of sawdust, giving you the feeling of unearthing the bottle. Old fashioned post office wax is used to seal the bottle making it quite messy to open. This is purposeful to show just how old this wine is.

Groot Constantia Wine
Groot Constantia Wine

Our first course was brioche toasts served with chicken liver parfait or soft creamy goats cheese. Five separate toppings were on offer to showcase the nuances of the wine. It was an interesting taste experience deciding which of the five topping worked better than the others. Most notably for me was how the apple chutney had the same mouth feel and taste as sultanas after drinking the wine.

Groot Constantia Grand Constance
Groot Constantia Grand Constance

Our second course was ricotta gnudi served with the Gouverneurs Reserve White 2014, a semillon (75%) sauvignon blanc blend. I had recently opened the 2012 bottle I had kept and I can say this is a white wine I would buy over and over again.

Ricotta Gnudi
Ricotta Gnudi

The third course was a deconstructed kudu wellington served with a great array of vegetables. This was accompanied by the Gouverneurs Reserve Red 2012, a merlot (44%), cabernet franc (32%), cabernet sauvignon (21%), petit verdot (3%) blend. This was nearly as good as the 2010 bottle I had at home, showcasing just how consistent their wines are.

Deconstructed Kudu Wellington
Deconstructed Kudu Wellington

For dessert we were served a dark chocolate and citrus terrine, a chocolate fondant with salted caramel and a gluten free chocolate cake. We were served another glass of chilled Grand Constance and the meal ended off perfectly with a single espresso.

Chocolate Flavour
Chocolate Flavour

Disclosure: I was invited to attend this event with no expectation that I would write about it. This post is in line with my blogging policy.

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