Fizz from Good Old Constantia: Steenberg Brut 1682 Chardonnay 2009, Constantia

Today I got some fizz from one of the oldest “New World” wineries for you: Steenberg in Constantia Western Cape. It is a weathered granite cultivated 100% Chardonnay sparkling from a winery which was founded in the late 17th century in the Steenberg Mountains (Mountain of Stone) by Catharina Ras a native Lübeckanese. Today, Steenberg is a national and international well renowned mid-size winery famous for its Sauvignon Blanc and sparkling wines, as well as a culinary and hotel business highlight of RSA.

My first impression was: strong and vivid bubbles. Yes, of course 2009 is still too young for a very pleasant bender ;-), but that is what curiosity gets you to. Whatever, the mousse and perlage appeared very juvenile and full of juice! Probably in its teens by now! The nose showed clear and genuine scents of red stewed apples, fresh pressed lemon juice, hints of mild mint and medium done fresh baked biscuits. The same for the nose: very infantile and defiant, but altogether rather promising. What a surprise! Alert, teenage condition for the taste as well! It was very crisp, got rough acid– due to the age – and was full of sparkle and life. At the same time pretty feminine and maybe petulant, too. Maybe like a female wrestler or boxer. The well proportionate body provided this one a very promising future. Not as filigree or skinny as many other Blanc de Blanc bubbles. The flavour showed plenty of red apples, fresh and sour lemon, hints of cinnamon babka and tons of lemon pie. The only minor problem appeared in the morning after. The 7.9g/l residual sugar gave me a dried and unpleasant candy deposit on my palatal. In conclusion a very reasonably priced and very well produced Chardonnay fizz. Unfortunately a bit too young, but that was my fault. Wait a year or so and you’ll have something great.

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