Ernie Els Signature Blend
Platter 4.5 Stars
Wine Spectator 93 Points
The highest rating vintage since 2005
James Molesworth of Wine Spectator said:
"a dark, alluring style, with gunpowder tea and warm ganache notes underscoring the core of steeped red and blackcurrant fruit. Features a singed cedar and alder frame, accented by a tobacco hint. Should open up nicely in the cellar. Best from 2017 through 2022."
Although it’s still early days, we do foresee that this vintage has the potential to be of a very high standard. After fairly stable climatic conditions throughout the second semester of 2011, a cold and wet spring slowed down activity in the vineyards. We experienced warm weather in late December which led to some vigorous foliage growth. The bunch counts revealed an above average figure so “green harvesting” was needed in January. (Green harvesting is the removal of immature grape bunches for the purpose of decreasing yield and thus maintaining intensity on the remaining fruit.) It’s particularly pleasing to report that there was no apparent disease in the vineyards. Moderate to warm temperatures from the second half of February were prevalent as expected, but cool conditions throughout March slowed the ripening of the vines and assisted in improving phenolic ripeness of the grapes.
There were some early rains during April but luckily 95% of the crop had already been harvested by this stage. In general, there is much excitement about the 2012 vintage, a specific characteristic being optimal ripeness levels achieved at lower sugars, thus in-turn resulting in lower alcohol levels.
About the Vineyard
All fruit was sourced from the Ernie Els Wines property whose vineyards grow on the warm north-facing slopes of the Helderberg region within the Stellenbosch appellation. The Hutton Clovelly soils contain a high gravel content which offers rich middle palate weight giving this wine exceptional depth and fruit purity. Each variety is separately managed to create unique and varied flavour profiles for this classic, ‘Medoc-style’, Bordeaux blend. With an altitude of approximately 250 metres above sea level together with the cooling influence of the Atlantic Ocean just 15 kilometres away, this extends the ripening period by up to 3 weeks resulting in lovely phenolic ripeness.
The grapes were hand-picked in the cool of early morning.
Dates: March & April, 2012. 25.2° Brix average sugar at harvest
Cooperage: Aged for 20 months - 300 litre French Oak barrels (70% new)
Production: 3 260 x 6 x 750ml cases | 182 x 1.5L | 29 x 3L | 29 x 5L
|Winery status||Large privately owned winery|
|Grapes||60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec, 5% Cabernet Franc|
|Product awards||Wine Spectator 93 Points, Platter 4.5 Stars|
|Sulphite level||Medium Low|