Beau Constantia, Creative Batch 2021
If you’ve ever been to Cape Town, Beau Constantia likely needs no introduction to you. The view from the property, situated as high as possible on the Constantia Nek, is unmatched, it is home to one of the finest restaurants on the African continent and it makes drool worthy wines. What is not to love?
The Creative Batch was born out of the turbulent times of South Africa’s 2020 pandemic-driven prohibition. It was initially meant to be a once off bottling, not intended to join the continuing rank of Beau Constantia’s wines, but it was so well received that there was no option for it not to.
The Creative Batch allows Megan van der Merwe, Beau Constantia’s brilliantly talented young winemaker, the licence to get creative. It could be said that she went to town on this one.
Megan sourced 5 different varietals (Chenin Blanc, Fernao Pires, Roussanne, Verdelho and Viognier) of grapes from 5 different regions (Overhex, Darling, Breedekloof, Swartland and Constantia) across the Cape. She fermented each component separately, using three types of fermentation medium (stainless steel, concrete and oak) before blending. I forgot to mention – the Chenin Blanc components had different levels of skin contact, pre-or-during fermentation. Bottled under a crown, because, why not?
Expect a pretty full on wine – citrus, orchard fruit, ginger and clove spring out of the glass. The palate is waxy and grippy with a leesy weight and deliciously fine tannins. It all crescendos to a tangy, tropical finish.
We first started our journey with the Creative Batch project in turbulent times during the 2020 pandemic-driven prohibition, where v1.0 was born. As with all mediums of expression, such as writing, we believe the first draft is the most important. It requires you to tap into your intuition and create with your heart. From there, it’s all about the art of revision.
The 2021 Creative Batch (v2.0) is a blend of Chenin Blanc, Fernao Pires, Roussanne, Verdelho and Viognier, all treated differently to honour each variety’s individual potential as a wine. Once all the parts finished their different fermentations, they were blended together and allowed to mature on the gross lees for 9 months prior to being bottled.
This wine was only intended for a single vintage, but is back by popular demand and the 2021 has legs. It is bright and lively with concentrated fruit and a pithy finish that demands another dip. True to the vintage; it is notably fresher than the 2020 and will easily outlive its predecessor! The first aromas to leap from the glass are intensely citrussy and give way to delicacies of ginger and clove. The palate is waxy yet grippy with a leesy weight and incredibly fine tannins that perfectly poise a tangy, tropical finish.
Cultivars, Origins and winemaking techniques:
Chenin Blanc (33%) – Overhex: Fermented on the skins in Concrete.
Chenin Blanc (33%) – Darling: Skin-soaked for 25 hours before fermenting in Stainless Steel.
Fernao Pires (15%) – Origin: Overhex. Fermented in old French oak.
Roussanne (9%) – Origin: Breedekloof. Whole bunch pressed. Fermented in old French oak.
Verdelho (7%) – Origin: Swartland Whole bunch pressed. Fermented in old French oak.
Viognier (3%) – Origin: Constantia Whole bunch pressed. Fermented in old French oak.
W.O Western Cape
The PAS DE NOM CREATIVE BATCH is an atypical character that was born during unconventional times. It is an all- encompassing package containing the works of many growers from all corners of our industry. Hence the closure reading “#SAVESAWINE”, a campaign created in support and aid of the livelihoods dependent on our South African wine industry.
Delicious with all manner of seafood, as well as spicy dishes. Maybe try it with a crab curry?