Monthly Archives: May 2018

Vinous gems


The line-up (from left to right): Kanonkop 1976, Middelvlei 1982, KWV Roodeberg 1977, Zonnebloem 1970 (the wine in the glass), Nederburg 1973.


Yesterday a tasting of some of the great old names of Cape wine.

Overall the wines showed very well with elegance and purity and that vinous quality that only comes with age. Notes:

Zonnebloem 1970 – Had the richest colour of the lot and showed the most body and flavour. Also slightly less acid than the others. Excellent

Nederburg 1973 – Very elegant with good acidity. Excellent

KWV Roodeberg 1977 – Typical old Cape wine and not unlike old Chateau Libertas. 1977 was said to be a poor vintage but this wine was excellent.

Middelvlei 1982 – Showing more modern profile and Cabernet leafiness. Very good.

Kanonkop 1976 – My first impression was that it was spoiled, but with time becoming better although it showed a foreign-tasting sharpness. Good.



Constantia visit – 1829

Extract quoted from “Military Reminiscences by Colonel James Welsh”

14 March 1829, Constantia

This garden is well worth going thirteen miles to see.  The road, which is generally good, passes through a beautiful country, and by many delightful rural habitations; which are here, as in England, scattered all over the plains ; though I have seen nothing elsewhere to rival Constantia in neatness and picturesque beauty. The house is uncommonly clean, and well furnished; and the gardens are laid out in squares, with walks and myrtle hedges on both sides. It is situated at the fool of a hill, haying a grove of chestnut-trees at the upper extremity; and while we were walking round, admiring the many inviting-trees, covered with apples, peaches, pears, medlars, apricots, &c., and small dwarfish bushes, only three or four feet high, bending with rich clusters of purple grapes; the gentleman of the house had ordered a cold collation to be prepared for us: and leading us into his  extensive warehouse, insisted on our tasting in succession the red and White Constantia, Frontignac, Pontac, and Steine ; the latter a very light wine, and only half the value of Constantia. Indeed, so extremely civil and obliging was he to us, that before our departure a few of the Benedicts of the party purchased some twenty pounds worth each, of the first sort, for home consumption. I remarked that the wine was kept in immense butts. I should suppose containing a dozen of pipes each. We then adjourned to the dwelling-house, and having had a long walk in the keen air, enjoyed a delicious repast of the finest fruit, just plucked from the trees, with wine, of the same produce; and when obliged to take our departure, it was with real regret we left this delightful retreat.


Photograph depicting Anreith’s pediment on the Groot Constantia wine cellar