Winemaking in South Africa began in 1685, when Dutchman Simon van der Stel, the Commander of the colony at the Cape of Good Hope, planted his first vines. The site was named Constantia and would go on to become one of the most famous wine producing regions in the whole country. The conditions in the area are almost perfect for grape cultivation, providing fertile soil, hills and ocean breezes that enhance the flavour. The red dessert wines from Constantia are still beloved all around the world to this day.
We are very pleased to offer two fantastic South African wines from this region. Both are made by Eagle’s Nest, from the estate originally started by Simon van der Stel. The 2009 Merlot is a real pleasure and has been made specifically to remove the alcoholic finish and tannins found in so many examples of the wine. The flavour is impressive with notes of ripe red fruits, vanilla oak and a hint of chocolate to finish.
The second Eagle’s Nest wine is a 2011 Shiraz considered by many to be one of the finest examples of the variety produced in the country. Flavours include blackberry and cherry with an incredible touch of coconut oak and black pepper spice. The balance and texture are both extremely fine, coupled with an intoxicating aroma that makes this wine a real treat.
Constantia may be older, but Stellenbosch is considered to be the greatest wine producing region in South Africa. This region was also established by Simon van der Stel and bears his name with pride. Many of the most celebrated vineyards are located here, taking advantage of the fertile soil in the valley and the ideal Mediterranean climate. Tourists with a love of wine flock to the region to enjoy tours and sample award winning products from some of the world’s best producers.
The richness of the region makes it very difficult to pick out a single Stellenbosch wine so we have gone for a selection of our five favourites. We have two amazing varieties from The Liberator; a 2013 Syrah and a stunning Chenin Blanc. These beautiful wines are made from grapes sourced from throughout the region, producing some truly impressive flavours. The Chenin Blanc is extra special because it is made from an offcut from the de Morgenzon estate, producers of an incredible Reserve Chenin Blanc that is only sold on allocation.
At the top end of the scale we have a 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon from the renowned Rustenberg estate. The grapes for this wine are grown at altitudes over 1,000 feet on the south west slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain in Stellenbosch. The location and grape selection process provides the rich flavours, producing a wine that Bordeaux lovers will really enjoy. It is such a great product it has won several awards.