Southern Hemisphere Wines From South Africa And Chile

The wine producing regions of Stellenbosch in South Africa, and the Maipo Valley of Chile are both located at 33 degrees southern latitude. Both include hilly terrain and warm climates, and both produce renowned reds from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. Both countries have been producing wines for over 300 years. Whereas South African focuses predominantly on Chenin Blanc as a white grape, Chile is more focused on Sauvignon Blanc. Both also produce often surprisingly crisp Chardonnay wines.

The following is a selection of various wines—whites and reds—from different producers.

Made from the Muscat de Frontignan grape as a late harvest sweet wine, Vin de Constance has a powerful reputation for quality and complexity. Aromas of green apples, pears, apricots, mandarins, aguardiente and Grand Marniere. In the mouth, a powerhouse of scintillating flavors—precise, clean, vibrant—provide a rich, layered, lambent dessert wine. This is a precise and stunning beam of focused energy. Acidity and sweetness are in taut balance, and the juice provides an oily mouth feel. A technical dream coat, more kaleidoscopic in its range of tastes than many wines from Sauternes. Unique and unbeatable.

Klein Constantia. Vin de Constance. 2018. 98 points.

A powerful kaleidoscopic river of multiple sweet flavors; this is a twinkling hit of slippery and juicy acidity superimposed on a tropical fruit cocktail. A tangy juice with flavors that include oranges and warm apricots. This sweet wine includes a structure that evolves surprisingly once the bottle is open.

Klein Constantia. Anwilka. Stellenbosch. 2017. 96 Points.

This 14% alcohol wine includes a 47/46/7 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot. Dark purple color. Deep, dark fruit aromas as well as those of chocolate, cherries, quince, red currants and gingerbread. A silky mouthful with pleasing acidity. Plums and cherries mid palate and a soft, lingering finish with a hint of spearmint. Well-structured and unobtrusive tannins mask alcohol. Consider pairing with veal or roasted duck.

Klein Constantia. Block 382. Sauvignon Blanc. 2019. 95 points.

Aromas include an attractive lick of spiciness—black and white pepper—as well as gooseberries and grapefruit, lime and white flowers. Gorgeously rich and acidic mouth feel. Pears on the initial attack, lime mid palate. The alcohol flavor is unobtrusive and the acidity bright and clean. Pair with shellfish, veal or lemon sherbet.

Klein Constantia. Perdeblokke. Sauvignon Blanc. 2020. 94 points.

Aromas of grapefruit, salt, limes, kiwi fruit and fresh bread. In the mouth, tropicals march out. Tastes include lime on the attack and grapefruit mid palate. Firm and structured acidity elevates the taste of tropical fruits. An easy drinking delight. Pair with seafood—consider sole or prawns.

Klein Constantia. Clara. Sauvignon Blanc. 2020. 94 points.

Aromas of tropical fruit, salt, white pepper and mint. Gracefully rounded in the mouth with bracing acidity and flavors of pineapple and lime. An easy drinking wine which begs a second sip. Lime on the attack, lemon and bread on the finish. Pair with dover sole, prawns or a rich and layered dessert—perhaps butterscotch pie.