Wine News Beau Constantia scores 92 Parker Points

Beau Constantia scores 92 Parker Points

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Mention the name of Robert Parker in wine circles and you're sure to have people’s attention. His 100 point wine rating system and acclaimed newsletter, The Wine Advocate, have become an influential force in the success of wine brands around the world.

So it's a striking achievement for a newcomer to rise straight into the rarefied air of 90+ points – a score that Beau Constantia has just notched up with 92 points for its maiden vintage of Viognier, the Cecily 2010.

Neal Martin, the Wine Advocate South Africa reviewer for Robert Parker, wrote the following tasting note: “The 2010 Cecily Viognier has an understated nose: pure, well defined with tangible minerality that unfurls enticingly in the glass. The palate is well balanced with a pleasing fatness in the mouth with lovely apricot, nectarine and white peach flavours. It is blessed with a well-defined finish that embraces that one barrel of new oak with style. This Viognier is well worth seeking out.”

Beau Constantia's vineyards stretch up Constantia Nek to 350m above sea-level and are north facing to benefit from the late afternoon sun and the cool on-shore winds from the ocean close by. This ideal growing environment allows this fragrant variety to fully express itself with beautiful balance and opulent rounded flavours. Winemaker Justin van Wyk produced just 900 bottles of 2010 Viognier from these seven-year old vines, and only a few cases are still available.

The grapes were crushed underfoot by members of the Du Preez family as whole bunches in the time-honoured traditional method before being lightly pressed. The juice was then fermented in three French oak barrels, one new barrel and two second-fill barrels. It remained in the barrels on the lees for a further five months before bottling. Besides the Viognier, classic red varieties, like Cabernet Franc and Shiraz, have also been planted on this auspicious site. The aim is to produce two red blends from the 2011 vintage.

Beau Constantia's Cecily Viognier 2010 has also scooped the award for best Viognier at the 2011 Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards, making this debut truly memorable and setting high expectations for the wines still to be released.