Constantia Glen, Five 2020
This is one of the best red wines coming out of the Cape’s most historic wine region right now.
Blending five varietals, the palate has a dramatic entry of concentrated dark fruit flavours, striking a fantastic balance between refinement and power on the mid-palate.
Textbook ripening conditions in 2019 give the wine excellent structure and depth, with an ever-present freshness for a long, lingering finish.
Decanter Platinum Award for 2017 vintage.
Bordeaux Blend, Red Blend
HARVEST SUMMARY BY WINEMAKER, JUSTIN VAN WYK
2020 was a remarkable vintage for red grape varieties at Constantia Glen. It was a somewhat
warmer vintage than both the preceding and following vintages, but the quality of fruit was
outstanding. It was a slightly earlier-than-normal vintage in Constantia due to a warm February
that hastened ripening a little. Besides the weather conditions, I for one will never forget the
unique challenges we faced during the 2020 harvest season. On 23 March 2020, in the early
stages of our red wine harvest, our South African President announced that the country would
go into a full lockdown 3 days later to combat the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The
announcement struck panic, as there was initially no dispensation offered for the agricultural
sector. For 3 days we harvested as much Merlot and Cabernet Franc as we could whilst we still
had the labour to do so, but about two-thirds of our estate red wine crop was still hanging on the
vines by the time we went into the hard lock-down on 26 March 2020, including all the
Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot on the estate. On the morning of this first day of the lock-
down, a special dispensation was declared allowing the agricultural sector to continue working
to secure the harvest. With “essential service” permits to allow us to continue working, we
completed harvesting the red grapes on the estate, with textbook ripening conditions ensuing all
the way through until we picked the final block of Cabernet Sauvignon on 9 April 2020.
Despite it being an earlier vintage than usual, our vineyards still ripened the grapes optimally
and we achieved fantastic phenolic ripeness, which allowed for confident extraction of tannins
and flavours during vinification. The reds from this vintage are striking and powerful, yet they
posses the typical elegance and finesse that our cool-climate region is known for.
Youthful in colour with a very dark ruby core unwinding into a bright and lively magenta rim.
Dark and brooding aromas of Morello cherries, ripe blackcurrant and juicy black plums
underpinned by a fragrance of violets and dried herbs. Savoury background notes of cocoa,
cedar, and graphite demand further exploration.
The palate entry is bold with rich and concentrated with the dark fruit flavours, but the mid-
palate displays fantastic balance and finesse. This compelling, structured wine is beautifully
centred with excellent freshness and depth. The delicious, fine-grain tannins provide mouth-
coating texture and excellent persistence and length. The wine comes across as tightly wound in
its youth with incredible ageing potential.
A carefully crafted blend of 28% Cabernet Franc, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 17%
Petit Verdot and 10% Malbec, matured for 19 months in 72% new and 28% second-fill 225 litre
French oak barrels. Following barrel maturation, the wine received a very light filtration before
making its way into bottle on 17 December 2021. With no fining agents used during the
production of this wine, a harmless sediment may occur during maturation in the bottle. This is
a classic and bold vintage of the Constantia Glen FIVE, which will continue to age and develop
admirably in bottle for up to 10 to 15 years from harvest under correct cellaring conditions.
Residual Sugar 2.80 g/L
Titratable Acidity 5.50 g/L
VA 0.61 g/L
Pulled slow-roasted shoulder of lamb served with wild mushrooms and rocket. BBQ Beef short
rib with a classic coleslaw. Classic beef entre
Bordeaux Blend, Red Blend
Asparagus and mushroom risotto with fresh pecorino. Pulled slow-roasted shoulder of lamb served with soy-glazed wild mushrooms and potato gratin. Beef rib-eye, grilled to medium-rare.