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The wines of Buitenverwachting, Constantia, South Africa

Klein Constantia Road, Constantia, 7800, South Africa
Tel: +27 21 794 5190

Part of the original Constantia estate formed by Simon van der Stel, Buitenverwachting was purchased in 1980 by Richard and Christine Mueller who renovated it extensively. Since they, they've established quite a reputation for the quality of their wines. 

The wine estate is in a beautiful setting, and I experienced a very friendly reception at cellar door (I made no indication that I was a wine writer; for the sake of readers, it is good to experience the sort of reaction that consumers might receive).  

Prices are given in Rands (when I visited in Feb 2003 14R = 1GPB).

Buitenverwachting Buiten Blanc 2002 Constantia
A blend of Chenin Blanc, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Bright and quite fruity nose with a grassy, lemony edge. Nice fruity palate with a fresh, crisp edge. A good quality quaffer. I had a bottle of this later in the week: it was light with a lovely delicacy and some grassiness. Joyful stuff for lunchtime drinking. Very good+ (28 Rand)

Buitenverwachting Rine Riesling 2002 Constantia
There’s a sweet edge to the aromatic, limey nose. Good acidity on the fresh, fruity palate. A touch of residual sugar but still a dry wine. Good quality here. Very good (28 Rand)

Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Constantia
Very grassy, slightly leafy nose hints at a touch of unripeness? Grassy palate with a slightly herbaceous edge. This is OK, but I’m concerned about the possible hint of unripeness. Good/very good (39 Rand)

Buitenverwachting Blanc de Noir 2002 Constantia
A saignée wine made from Merlot and Cabernet. Very fruity, ripe and approachable with some sweet fruit. Ripe and tasty. A tiny bit of residual sugar? Very good (28 Rand)

Buitenverwachting Meifort 1999 Constantia
60% Merlot, the balance Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Lovely minerally, slightly spicy nose with a leafy edge. The palate shows attractive ripe berry fruit with a leafy edge. Very nicely put together and quite elegant. Very good+ (39 Rand)

Buitenverwachting Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 Constantia
Deep coloured. The nose is quite intense with rich, ripe black and berry fruit. Touch of minerality on the ripe palate which displays a leafy edge and some spicy character. Very good+ (65 Rand)

Buitenverwachting Natural Sweet 2000, Coastal Region
Waxy, honeyed nose is quite sweet. There’s a spicy edge to the rich-textured palate with a touch of marmalade and lemon character. Some acid here balancing the sweetness. Very good (48 Rand)  

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