Unveiling of Glenelly’s 2013 Lady May and Estate Reserve Red

Glenelly, the Stellenbosch wine estate with a French touch, located on the southern slopes of the Simonsberg, have released the 2013 vintages of their flagship Lady May Cabernet Sauvignon and their Estate Reserve Signature Red Blend.

We are very excited about our 2013 releases. After the 2012 vintage which was very hot, delivering big robust wines, the cooler conditions in 2013 have produced extremely elegant wines with complex aromatics, beautiful fruit and freshness and great balance. This is a vintage that will certainly reward cellaring patience with added depth, nuance and complexity, ageing beautifully for a minimum of 7-10 years and bringing pleasure to wine collectors even after 20 years of ageing in the bottle,” says winemaker Luke O’Cuinneagain.


Glenelly was established in 2003 by world-renowned Bordeaux winemaker, Madame May de Lencquesaing, with a clear vision to produce wines of great elegance and exceptional ageing ability.

“The journey of Lady May started eleven years ago, in 2008, in France, when May de Lencquesaing poured me a glass of wine displaying extraordinary finesse, freshness and depth. To my huge surprise the wine turned out to be a 1873 Lafite Rothschild, ‘the benchmark’, according to Madame, for the flagship wine we would be producing at Glenelly. 2008 was the first step on an exciting adventure towards producing a ground-breaking Bordeaux-style wine with great elegance and exceptional ageing ability. Four years later we launched Lady May, named in honour of Glenelly’s Grande Dame,” continued Luke.

Lady May is crafted predominantly from a single Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard planted on a cool east-facing slope, with a dash of other Bordeaux varieties. Taking after its owner, the wine is elegant, distinguished and venerable. Having been set an enormous challenge by Madame, Glenelly have produced several highly-acclaimed vintages of Lady May, reaping prestigious awards, including a pinnacle 5-star rating for the 2009 vintage in Platter’s wine guide.

The refreshed label, since the 2012 vintage, captures the purity and elegance of the wine. A sculpture of May de Lencquesaing by famous French artist Maxime Real del Sarte (1948), a wedding gift, adorns the label. The warm gold colour of the capsule and the illustration on the label, reflect a return to May’s illustrious roots at Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in Bordeaux, where the original capsules were the very same shade of gold. On the back label, May describes her vision for this special cuvée:

“It has always been my dream to craft the finest Cabernet Sauvignon blend outside of France. At the grand age of 78, I finally discovered Glenelly Estate, in the heart of the iconic Stellenbosch, the ideal place for my vision to become reality. Selected from the highest and coolest vineyard slopes, these grapes confer to Lady May elegance, exceptional depth and ageing potential. This wine is my legacy.”


The Lady May 2013 is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot. This is the 2nd vintage of Lady May that comprises a Cabernet Franc component, adding distinctive freshness and longevity to the wine.

Winemaking: The grapes were hand sorted, lightly crushed and naturally fermented in stainless steel tanks. After 2-3 weeks post fermentation skin contact and a gentle pressing, malolactic fermentation took place in oak barrels. The wine remained on the lees for a long period of time before racking, every four months on average. The wine was matured for 24 months in new oak barrels from the finest French coopers.

Tasting notes: The Lady May 2013 is an intense, deeply coloured wine. Elegant and complex with a big but classic structure, it offers alluring invitation to dark-fruited, richly-tannined depths. Fresh blackberry, cassis, dark cherry and spicy plum notes perfectly combine with dense, age-worthy tannins. Refined with distinct minerality and underlying fruit power, the wine is fresh, stylish and subtle, with a long, layered finish.

Enjoy: 2019 – 2030

Accolades: The 2013 Lady May, as well as the 2011 and 2012 vintages, have all received 95-point ratings in Tim Atkin’s South Africa Special Reports.

Retail price: Lady May 2013 can be purchased online at www.glenelly.co.za and is available nationwide at specialist wine merchants. Recommended retail price: R520.


The Estate Reserve is Glenelly’s signature red blend with long ageing potential made from the estate’s finest parcels of vines.  The label depicts a panoramic landscape view of Glenelly to convey a real sense of place and focus on terroir.

Winemaking: The grapes were hand sorted and lightly crushed into stainless steel fermentation tanks. They were given a cold soak for three days before allowing the natural fermentation to start. Three pump-overs a day were done during fermentation, followed by extended skin contact for 2-3 weeks. The wine was placed in French oak barrels to undergo malolactic fermentation. Matured for 18 months in French oak and racked on average every four months.

Tasting notes: The 2013 vintage is a blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 15% Syrah, 11% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. This is the first vintage with a Cabernet Franc component in the blend, adding freshness and longevity. The 2013 vintage is all about elegance with underlying power. Bold aromatics of blackberries, cranberry and blackcurrant are followed by hints of savoury, spicy plum with touches of cedar and floral tones. The palate entry has good richness with fine tannin supported by the ripe fresh fruit and hints of spice. Very balanced oak integration with a fresh long finish.

Enjoy: 2019 – 2030

Accolades: The Estate Reserve Red 2013 received a 93-point rating in Tim Atkin’s South Africa Special Report.

Retail price: The Glenelly Estate Reserve Red retails nationally at approximately R245. 


“At Glenelly we constantly think of our wines in conjunction with food, so introducing a culinary experience at Glenelly in late 2016 was a logical step on our journey,” says Luke O’Cuinneagain. Christophe Dehosse, chef patron at The Vine Bistro at Glenelly, continues, “We recommend enjoying the 2013 vintages of the flagship Lady May Cabernet Sauvignon and the Estate Reserve Signature Red Blend with the following dishes which feature regularly on our menu:

  • Cape Wagyu flat iron steak, fondant potatoes, grilled baby marrow and a shallot sauce
  • Springbok loin, celeriac mousseline, broad bean and a red wine sauce
  • Braised pork cheeks, roast root vegetables and a thyme jus 


May de Lencquesaing is a member of one of Bordeaux’s oldest wine families, the Miailhe, who owned the famous Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac, Bordeaux. Her pursuit of excellence at this domain over 30 years saw the wines being elevated to some of the best in the world and led to May being awarded Decanter Magazine’s Woman of the Year in 1994, among several other prestigious accolades. She also established a Glass Museum at Château Pichon Lalande housing one of the biggest private collections of glass.

Struck by the tremendous potential of South Africa’s terroir and the beauty of the country, May de Lencquesaing embarked on a French adventure on African soil when she purchased Glenelly in 2003. She replanted the former fruit farm to pristine vineyards, built a state-of-the-art winery and together with winemaker Luke O’Cuinneagain, began producing a highly-acclaimed range of wines.

In 2007 she sold Château Pichon to Roederer Champagne and has since devoted her time to the development of Glenelly. After closing to the public for a year due to extensive renovations, the Stellenbosch estate re-opened in late 2016 as a world-class winelands destination including The Vine Bistro headed up by French chef Christophe Dehosse, a tasting room with spectacular views, a stylish museum housing May de Lencquesaing’s extraordinary 480-piece glass collection, a school for the children on the farm and a refreshed wine brand that better conveys the three key elements that define their award-winning wines: power, elegance and balance.

In 2017 May de Lencquesaing was presented with a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 International Wine Challenge (IWC) Awards in London, honouring her dedication, commitment and significant contribution to the global wine industry. Tim Atkin, Master of Wine and co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge, paid tribute to May at the Awards ceremony, The winner of our Lifetime Achievement Award today is often described as ‘formidable’, both in English and French. Now into her tenth decade, with ten grandchildren and ten great grandchildren to match, she remains a considerable force of nature…  Anyone who has been lucky enough to drink a bottle of the legendary 1982 Pichon Lalande and to see the foundations she laid at the Château will recognise what she achieved in Bordeaux; anyone who has tasted recent vintages of her Glenelly Lady May red will recognise what she has achieved in South Africa. Few people make such a mark on two continents.”

Glenelly Estate: Lelie Street, Idas Valley, Stellenbosch 7600

Tel: 021 809 6440

· Email: wine@glenelly.co.za

· Website: www.glenellyestate.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GlenellyEstate

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GlenellyEstate

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/glenellyestate/

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