The long-awaited launch of our 5-star white blend is here. And as Jacques, AJ and I discovered, it’s well worth the wait.
Natura Vista, meaning ‘Nature’s View’ is the new name of Constantia Uitsig’s renowned Constantia White Blend. It’s a subtle nod to the farm’s natural beauty and its historic name (which was ‘Constantia View’ from 1885 until 1941). Back into the present, savoring a glass of Natura Vista 2014, is itself a sight and sensory delight to behold…
The subtle, sweet flesh of apricots and peaches combine with a wet wool aroma that hints at the Semillon component of the wine. With riper fruits and marmalade accents coming through too, it’s an exquisite bouquet that proves to not disappoint on the palate.
Fresh melon combines with a wonderful viscosity that gives the wine a certain ‘grip’ – thanks to the 65% Semillon, 35% Sauvignon Blanc blend. A good natural acidity is evident too, and although this is a relatively late release for a white wine, we all agree that it has opened up beautifully over the last while – and will no doubt continue to do so over the next few years.
Although the blend is the same as the previous vintage, A.J and Jacques both agree that this wine seems very different to last year’s…
“There’s a stronger correlation between nose and palate,” Jacques thinks, adding, “It’s a layered wine that seems slightly riper, more open, not as flinty or reductive.”
This is a little surprising to our trio – particularly given that 2014 was a difficult vintage in the Cape, but it would seem the pressure has given rise to a real diamond. Due to the wet, damp conditions that year, there was less stress on the vines, and so a longer growing season saw the flavours slowly maturing.
Awarded John Platter’s prestigious five star rating, we’re not the only ones who think highly of our white blend. Five star wines are exceptional bottlings which are identified by individual tasters and then also emerge from a second round of blind tastings (without sight of the label), still with the judges’ highest rating.
A.J adds, “Compared to the Constantia White 2013, where the Sauvignon Blanc really shows, I find that there’s a lot more waxiness and stone fruit coming through from the Semillon.”
In Jacques own words, “There’s a density to the wine that just wasn’t there in the 2013 vintage. Everything is very concentrated. And yet in terms of the winemaking, we used the same process.”
The best Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc are fermented separately (with the Sauv Blanc doing so in stainless steel tanks) before the precise percentage of each varietal is determined and put into 600 litre barrels (15% of which are new oak) for 9-10 months. This time together in barrels is not facilitated by any batonage, and so slowly, the wine is able to subtly integrate – creating a sublime connection. The Sauvignon Blanc brings a freshness to the wine, whilst the Semillon’s oily texture balances it beautifully.
And if one must also eat whilst enjoying this fantastic white, our merry group recommends another dashing duo of flavours: Roasted pork loin, with Brenda’s apple chutney.