Napoleon's favourite drink
The touch of red muscat gives the wine a beautiful amber colour. The nose shows an abundance of ripe and dried fruit, like crushed pineapple, apricot and raisins. The ageing in barrels adds some wood spice and a hint of honey to the wine. The dried fruit and honey follow on the palate, and a fresh acidity balances the sweetness.
- Jancis Robinson 16.5 pts (Tasted Jan 22)
- Wine Spectator 92 pts (Tasted Dec 21)
- Barrels to mature for at least 24 months.
- Exclusively imported
Cellaring: Now to 2027
Food Pairing: For a perfect complement to your final dish, serve slightly chilled. Pair with chocolate, dried fruits, nuts and a wide variety of both hard and soft cheese, great with lemon tart, pavlova and fruit-topped cheesecakes.
STORY BEHIND THIS WINE
"Napoleon’s favourite wine originated from “Grand Constance”, the French translation for Groot Constantia. These wines were produced in the Cloete Cellar that can be visited today, directly behind the Groot Constantia Manor house. It is known that Groot Constantia used the French translation “Grand Constance” on its labels additional to the normal “Groot Constantia” reference. “Grand Constance” was supplied to Napoleon until his death in 1821 during his exile on the island of Saint Helena.
The agent of the English East India Company based in Cape Town at the time, Joseph Luson (1783-1822), was tasked by the British authorities to provision not only the French contingent at Longwood House, but also the civilian population, the garrison and the regiments stationed on the Island as well as the ships of the Royal Navy patrolling the waters around Saint Helena.
Joseph Luson bought the wine directly from the Cloete family who owned Groot Constantia. His business relations with the family changed significantly on 24 May 1817 when he married Catharina Maria (Mary) Cloete, the daughter of Pieter Lourens Cloete, the wine merchant of Groot Constantia, and his wife, Maria Catharina van Reenen. Luson also appointed his brother-in-law, Daniel Jacob Cloete (1800-1879), as his confidential clerk in 1819. The names of ‘Den Heer J Luson’ and ‘D J Cloete’ are amongst the regular clients recorded in the Groot Constantia’s Wine Sales Register, meticulously kept from 1800-1860.
These wines were all produced and bottled in the famous Cloete Cellar. Simon van der Stel’s magnificent Homestead and the impressive Cloete Cellar still stand today and form part of the farm Groot Constantia, a Provincial Heritage site and still a fully functional wine estate."