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The wines of Constantia Uitsig, Constantia  

PO Box 402, Constantia, 7848, South Africa
Tel: +27 21 794 1810 Fax: +27 21 794 1812
E-mail: wine@icon.za Website: www.constantiauitsig.co.za

Purchased in 1988 by David and Marlene McCay, the Uitsig estate has been completely restored and wine farming has been reinitiated, with 40 ha now under vine. 

With its flat, slightly dull-looking vineyards, scenically Uitsig is less visually appealing than the other Constantia estates. But itís home to the regionís smartest restaurant (book well ahead, we failed to get a table three days in advance), and the wines are pretty good.

The tasting/sales area is separate from the rest of the estate, with a shop attached containing a good selection of premium South African wines: this is worth bearing in mind if you are in the area.

After tasting the wines, I was chased away by slightly over-attentive security guards while taking pictures of the vineyard. I donít know what dark secrets they were guarding, but I had a tough job trying to convince one of them not to confiscate my camera.

Sauvignon Blanc 2002
Very fresh aromatic, grassy nose. The palate is nicely balanced: not too herbaceous, with rounded ripe fruity flavours. Crisp and expressive. Very good+ (R45)

Unwooded Chardonnay 2002
Crisp, clean fruity nose. Very appealing ripe fruit on the palate with crisp lemony acid. Attractive. Very good+ (R45)

Semillon Reserve 2001
This flagship wine spends 10 months in French oak barrels. Quite an assertive nose with some oak notes. The palate is crisp and fresh with noticeable oak that hasnít yet settled in properly. Very good (R75)

Chardonnay Reserve 2001
Classy toasty/oaky nose with quite a bit of bready, vanilla character. Good concentration of stylish, lean fruit on the palate with prominent toasty oak. Very good+  (R82.50)

Cabernet Merlot 2000
This shows appealing ripe berry fruits with a gently spicy oak overlay. Good balance. Nice drinking wine. Very good (R80)

Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
Spends 18 months in French oak barrels. Sweet blackcurrant fruit dominates the nose with a creamy edge. Good concentration of soft, ripe fruit on the palate. Nice wine with a soft texture. Very good+ (R75)

Sweet Semillon NV
Pretty nose is sweet with a lemony, honeyed edge. Rich-textured sweet palate with good balancing acidity. Nice late harvest style, without being too complex. Very good (R90)

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