Skip to main content

La Place Autumn Offers: 2020 Vin de Constance, Klein Constantia

With a history stretching back to 1685, each new vintage release of Vin de Constance is something of event.  Established just two decades after Pepys first recorded the name Haut-Brion in his diary, and a century and a half before sweet Sauternes was developed, this is one of the most fabled wines, name-checked by Austen and Dickens and enjoyed by Napoleon (who had it shipped to him in exile on St Helena). 

For decades, Vin de Constance vied with Tokaji Eszencia, until phylloxera hit South Africa in the 1870s, wiping out the vines.  The estate was restored in the 1980s, with new vintages bottled in a glass flask modelled on the handblown bottles of the late 18th and early 19th century. 

With no botrytis here, the style of Vin de Constance is derived from the climate, terroir and winemaking.  Planted overlooking False Bay, the Muscat de Frontignan grapes benefit from cooling sea breezes and are harvested over the space of several weeks, with early-picked fruit contributing fresh acidity and later-harvested grapes giving unique raisined character (some bunches are twisted on the vines to aid this).  

This latest release, the 2020 vintage, scores 96 points from Georgina Hindle writing for Decanter Magazine, who finds in it..."sweetness (butterscotch, thick creamy lemon and apricot yoghurt and hints of honey)...countered by a delicious citrus zestiness and bitter orange touches." ...

Availability is extremely limited, so please let us know straight away if you would like to order.

Offered en primeur, available spring 2024.

WHITE 2020 3 cases Klein Constantia - Vin de Constance 50cl £282 per case of 6 Klein Constantia
Vin de Constance
2020 / 3 cases / 50cl
£282 per case of 6
Tasting Notes"Highly floral and concentrated nose full of marmalade, orange zest, toasted caramel patisserie, orange blossom, a Tutti Fruitti element and some soft oak touches too. Thick and viscous, comforting and deep with a weighty, sugary texture offset by serious spiced and toasted edges that give this angles and a taught frame. Serious, not so easy and generous, more dense and concentrated, this feels well built and purposeful. The sweetness (butterscotch, thick creamy lemon and apricot yoghurt and hints of honey) is countered by a delicious citrus zestiness and bitter orange touches. I adore the combination of flavours and this feels expertly made with precision, freshness and clarity. Lots to enjoy and think about here with a satisfying, long, mineral grip on the finish. From a challenging 2020 vintage with small, concentrated berries and a reduced crop. 174g/l residual sugar. 3.92pH. 6.3g/l total acidity. Ageing one and a half years in 50% new, 500l Hungarian and French oak barrels followed by the same time in large-format wooden foudre. Barrels are then selected with the best being chosen for the final blend...96 points" Georgina Hindle, Decanter Magazine------"Bright medium-gold hue with a focused and intense nose layered with honeysuckle, apricot, citrus, honey and marmalade. A hint of mineral, too. Really pure and tangy with a luscious palate balanced by intense citrusy flavors and natural acidity that is beautifully chiselled to the palate. Long and effortless. Consistently great muscat here. Drinkable now if you love the vibrancy of it, but one could keep this for a decade or two.  96 points""...alongside the trademark beeswax, honeycomb, pineapple, peach, pear and countless other descriptors, you will find an acid structure that defies belief.  Then one notices the colour or lack thereof. This is a painfully pale wine for such an all-singing and dancing flavour. I have seen these rare characteristics several times over the years, and they signal a Vin de Constance of uncommon longevity.  Pale, taut and yet explosive = an epic vintage. And suppose you are tempted to open a bottle when it arrives this autumn. In that case, you do not have to feel guilty because it tastes incredible, but I think you might be able to forget about this wine for three or more decades, and it will still knock you over with its complexity and grace. Drink now to 2050. 19+/20 points" Matthew Jukes
WHITE 2020 2 cases Klein Constantia - Vin de Constance Magnum £465 per case of 3 Klein Constantia
Vin de Constance
2020 / 2 cases / Magnum
£465 per case of 3

Cookie Notice


Find out more about how this website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience.

Back to top