Neil Ellis Wines’ reputation as one of SA’s leading Cabernet producers was re-affirmed when both their terrain specific and regional 2014 Cabernet Sauvignons were highlighted in the 2017 Prescient Cabernet Sauvignon Report.
The Neil Ellis Jonkerskoek Cabernet 2014 was awarded joint first place with 92 points, and the Neil Ellis Stellenbosch Cabernet 2014, with 90 points, was among the Top 15 Cabernets, 14 of which came from the Stellenbosch region.
In addition the staying power of Neil Ellis Jonkershoek Cabernet was highlighted at Winemag.co.za’s 10 Year Old Wine Awards 2017 when the Neil Ellis Jonkershoek Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 was the top-scoring Cabernet with a 91-point rating.
2017 PRESCIENT CABERNET SAUVIGNON REPORT
The sixth annual Cabernet Sauvignon Report founded by Christian Eedes of Winemag.co.za, and sponsored by multinational financial services company Prescient, involved putting together a line-up of 65 of South Africa’s most high-profile examples of Cabernet Sauvignon, either currently available or soon to be released, and then subjecting them to a panel blind tasting and scoring them on the 100-point quality scale.
92 points: Neil Ellis Jonkershoek Valley Stellenbosch 2014
100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Matured for 18 months in French oak, 100% new. Red and black fruit, some leafiness, pencil shavings and vanilla on the nose. The palate meanwhile possesses good weight and texture – pure fruit, fresh acidity and fine tannins. Seamlessly assembled.
90 points: Neil Ellis Stellenbosch 2014
100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Matured for 18 months in French oak, 25% new. Dark fruit, a hint of fresh herbs and oyster shell on the nose. Pleasantly austere on the palate – pure fruit, particularly fresh acidity and firm tannins making for a long, dry finish.
10 YEAR OLD WINE AWARDS 2017
Winemag.co.za initiated these awards to assess the age-worthiness of local wines. One of the most important measures of great wine is that it should become more pleasurable and more interesting to drink with time in the bottle. 72 entries from 41 producers were received and these were tasted by the panel and scored according to the 100-point quality scale.
PEDIGREE OF NEIL ELLIS CABERNET SAUVIGNON
These accolades follow a long line of praise for Neil Ellis Cabernet Sauvignon, including 14 Veritas Double Gold or Gold Awards since 1999. The pinnacle South African wine accolade, a 5-star rating in the Platter’s wine guide, has been awarded four times to the Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (now called Jonkershoek Cabernet). Internationally, the Neil Ellis Cabernets have also garnered widespread acclaim, regularly receiving venerable 90+ ‘outstanding’ ratings from renowned wine critics like Tim Atkin (British Master of Wine), Jamie Goode (UK-based wine writer, author and blogger), US-based wine critic Stephen Tanzer and highly-acclaimed US wine magazines like Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and Wine & Spirits.
NEIL ELLIS JONKERSHOEK CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013/2014 – TERRAIN SPECIFIC RANGE
The Neil Ellis limited release terrain specific range of wines demonstrates the distinctiveness of specific vineyard sites and represents the finest quality. This is the signature Cabernet Sauvignon of Neil Ellis Wines with all the hallmarks of the Jonkershoek Valley. Known for its classical structure and perfect balance of elegance and fruit power, it has complex aromas of blue and black small berry fruit with cedar notes and touches of mint. The palate is smooth and plush with a savoury expression, fine but dense tannins and restrained complexity from expertly handled all-new 18 month oak maturation.
The Neil Ellis Jonkershoek Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 will be released in July 2017. The 2013 vintage is still available for purchase at the estate, online at www.neilellis.com, and nationally at leading wine merchants. Recommended retail price: R350 per bottle
NEIL ELLIS STELLENBOSCH CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013/2014 – REGIONAL RANGE
Produced from Jonkershoek Valley fruit and further parcels of grapes sourced from complimentary sites within the Stellenbosch area, this wine spent 18 months in a 25% 1st fill French oak barrel, the balance in 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill barrels. It is deep, dark garnet in colour with a bright ruby edge. Aromas of currants, blackberries and plums follow onto a palate with compelling mouth-filling flavours of cherry and plum with some black pepper spice. This full bodied wine finishes with soft tannins and a hint of peppery cassis.
The Neil Ellis Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 will be released in July 2017. The 2013 vintage is still available for purchase at the estate, online at www.neilellis.com, and nationally at leading wine merchants. Recommended retail price: R150 per bottle
NEIL ELLIS WINES
Celebrating 30 years of the Neil Ellis wine label, Neil Ellis has always sought out specific sites where individual varieties excel, searching for the best grapes, grown in the best areas where the interaction of soil, topography and climate suit them best. Today the same philosophy remains the mainstay of Neil Ellis Wines. Over the years Stellenbosch has proven to be the most successful area in South Africa for producing great Cabernet, with the higher elevations and textured soils of the Jonkershoek Valley being ideal. Neil Ellis Wines’ philosophy to produce distinctive, refined wines that express the inimitable attributes of their terrain and rank amongst South Africa’s finest, has certainly reaped the desired rewards, with a prized local and international reputation for exceptional elegance and quality.
Today the journey of Neil Ellis Wines is not only about Neil himself. After 40 years of making wine and 30 years of the Neil Ellis wine label, the next stage of the journey has begun with Neil’s son, Warren, sharing responsibilities as winemaker and viticulturist. The well established family enterprise has a new home, a state-of-the-art cellar on the lower slopes of the Helshoogte Pass in Stellenbosch, where their first vintage was vinified in 2015.
Neil Ellis Wines: Tel 021 887 0649