Neil Ellis “the most exciting Cab in South Africa right now” – Winemag

INTERESTING results there were from the 2017 Winemag tasting of South African Cabernet Sauvignon. From a line-up of 65 Cabs that producers were invited to submit for assessment, panel chair Christian Eedes together with fellow judges Roland Peens and James Pietersen of Cape Town merchants Wine Cellar found 15 beauties they regarded as ‘excellent’ – but none great enough to warrant what they would describe as ‘outstanding, extraordinary or profound’.

There’s no reference to the stand-out wines in the ‘key findings’ of the report, although in the tasting notes and on the website there are scores ranging from 90 to 92 out of 100 for 14 Stellenbosch wines and one from Constantia. It was on Twitter that the publishers stuck their necks out in highlighting the 2014 vintage of the Neil Ellis ‘terrain specific’ Jonkershoek Cab as the “most exciting” in SA, with Strydom Vintners’ Rex 2014 the panel’s joint favourite at the end of the day.

The stars of the show mostly have good track records going back a way or come from cellars with good reputations – including the Kleine Zalze Family Reserve, Rustenberg Peter Barlow and Waterford that rank among the Top 10 in the SA Wine Classification. The relative newcomers to this league: Bartinney and Peter Falke.


Bartinney Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Groot Constantia Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Jordan The Long Fuse Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2014
Neil Ellis Jonkershoek Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Neil Ellis Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Peter Falke Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Rustenberg Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Spier 21 Gables Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Strydom Rex Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Tokara Reserve Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Vergelegen V 2012
Warwick Blue Lady 2014
Waterford Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Full report here.


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