Neil Ellis put the Darling district and the Groenekloof ward on the wine map when he began using grapes from Darling in 1986 and became the first person to release a wine from this area with his highly-acclaimed Groenekloof Sauvignon Blanc in 1991, spearheading wine industry interest in the cool-climate possibilities of the area.
In the vineyard: These 20-year-old bush vines are low-yielding vineyards with no supplementary irrigation.
In the cellar: The wine was left on the lees for months to enhance the structure, mouthfeel and complexity of the wine.
Tasting notes: Bright aromatics with lifted floral notes and subtle herbaceous overtones. The palate is elegant, and textured with delicately detailed sweet tropical fruits, a lively acidity, refined minerality and a long flavoursome finish.
Retail price: R95-R110
NEIL ELLIS AMICA 2017 (100% Barrel-Fermented Sauvignon Blanc)
The 2017 Amica is a complex and textured expression of Sauvignon Blanc.
In the vineyard: The source of the fruit is a single vineyard site from the Jonkershoek Valley. This limited release wine demonstrates the distinctiveness of specific vineyard sites and represents the finest quality.
In the cellar: The grapes were whole-bunch pressed using a Champagne pressing cycle to ensure that only the finest quality juice was used. The fermentation occurred naturally in 500-litre puncheons of which only 20% was new. The wine spent 9 months in barrel. (500-litre).
Tasting notes: Initial scents of white florals and fresh herbs are supported by notes of sweet stone fruits and honeysuckle and completed by a flinty minerality. Juicy with mouth-watering flavours of nectarine, lime and lemongrass, a round and creamy mouthfeel is complemented by gentle minerality and fresh acidity which contributes to a youthful and vibrant finish.
Retail price: R225-R275