Episode 12 – the wine 4

Episode 12 – Napoleon Bona Part Four

Technical Information:

Producer: Nederburg
The Wine: 100% Muscat de Frontigan
Vintage: 2019
Wine of Origin: Paarl
Alcohol: 11%
Bottles: 1,200 half bottles
Released: February 2021

Napoleon Bona Part Four is a sweet wine, produced from Muscat grapes, very much in the classic Constantia style.

The inspiration for the title comes from the fact that Napoleon, during his five-year exile on Saint Helena found solace in consuming a bottle of Constantia a day. Documents dated October 1816 through to 30 June 1817, titled “Statement of the wines supplied for General Bonaparte’s Establishment”, shows that the three-monthly tally was around 90 bottles. The emperor kept this cache for his exclusive enjoyment and is believed to have asked for a glass shortly before he died.

The wine comes from Nederberg, a very distinguished address for sweet wines. The winemaker, Günter Brözel, who arrived from Germany in 1956, dedicated himself to building up a broad spectrum of wines, made at a remarkably high level of quality and consistency. One such example, introduced in 1983, was christened Eminence, a Muscat de Frontignan Noble Late Harvest, which was sold exclusively at the annual Nederburg Auction.

Inaugurated in 1975, the Nederburg Auction has now passed into the hands of the industry and is no more. This deemed any number of the famous ‘Private Bin’ wines made specifically for the event redundant, including this 2019 Eminence. A chance meeting with the new winemaker at Nederburg led to the cellar opening its doors for Rick to liberate a selection of rare gems. For a wine held in such high esteem in the Cape, this is a coup indeed for The Liberator.