- Neil Ellis Groenekloof Shiraz 2014, a gold medallist from the 2016 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show;
- Neil Ellis Groenekloof Sauvignon Blanc 2016, an eagerly anticipated release after the 2015 vintage was awarded 5 Stars in the Platter’s 2016 Wine Guide;
- Neil Ellis Cinsaut Groenekloof Darling Hills 2014, also a keenly awaited follow-up to the compelling limited release maiden vintage.
All three wines sport elegant new-look labels with redefined names and ranges – the Groenekloof Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc from the Regional Range (formerly named Premium Range) and the Cinsaut Groenekloof Darling Hills from the Terrain Specific Range (formerly known as Vineyard Selection Range).
These wines are produced from low-yielding bush vines on Neil Ellis’s property in the Groenekloof ward in the Darling Hills on the West Coast. This series of granitic outcrops with ancient soils runs parallel to the ocean and rises up to 385 metres above sea level. The vineyards are only 8 km from the cold southern Atlantic Ocean with its cool, prevailing south-westerly winds. Cooling afternoon breezes, along with regular ocean fogs, bring relief and refreshment to the grapes and help to lengthen the ripening season, thus ensuring maximum aroma development and allowing the grapes to retain acidity while developing complex fruit flavours. The stronger south-easterly winds restrict the growth of vegetation in the vines and cause them to grow smaller berries with thicker skins. This, as well as dryland farming, where the vines are not irrigated, contributes to the complexity in the resultant wine. The region's soils, made of decomposed granite, retain enough water to keep the vines hydrated during the growing season.
NEIL ELLIS GROENEKLOOF SHIRAZ 2014: Neil Ellis Wines Regional Range
The wine was aged for 15 months in new, 2nd-fill and older 500-litre French oak puncheons.
A medium bodied, cool-climate Shiraz, in which balance is more important than power. The wine is fresh and vibrant, the nose displaying fresh aromatics of red berries and some dried herb notes. The palate is layered and long, showing bright fruit with hints of white pepper spice, a good structure and fine tannins.
Lamb, duck, pork and mild cheese.
Recommended retail price: ±R100
NEIL ELLIS GROENEKLOOF SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016: Neil Ellis Wines Regional Range
Pale straw with green hues. Bright aromatics, of fresh late summer fruits, lifted florals with subtle herbaceous overtones. Delicately detailed, the refined, poised palate is elegantly concentrated with sweet tropical fruits, lively balanced acidity, mineral notes and a fine texture, with a long flavoursome finish.
A refreshing aperitif but also enjoy with fresh oysters, asparagus, artichokes, sushi, smoked salmon, prawns, calamari, grilled fish, chicken or pork with lemon.
Recommended retail price: ±R95
NEIL ELLIS CINSAUT GROENEKLOOF DARLING HILLS 2014: Neil Ellis Wines Terrain Specific Range
The grapes for the Cinsaut 2014 were sourced from three hectares of south-west facing 40-year-old low-yielding bush vines, situated on a hilltop, in the Groenekloof ward in the Darling Hills.
This wine spent 16 months in French 500-litre oak barrels, 20% new, 20% 2nd-, 60% 3rd-fill and older.
Medium intensity of colour with a bright crimson hue. The wine portrays a complex mix of red fruits with some spicy notes. Further interest beckons via subtle oaking. The palate is bright and youthful with cherry and fruit-tart flavours. Fine grainy tannins add to the structure of the wine.
Loin of Karoo lamb or venison carpaccio;
Recommended retail price:
This limited release wine, demonstrating the distinctiveness of specific vineyard sites and representing the finest quality, retails at ±R275.
Neil Ellis started using grapes from Darling in 1986 and became the first person to release a wine from this area with his Groenekloof Sauvignon Blanc in 1991, spearheading wine industry interest in the cool-climate possibilities of the area. Initially renowned for exceptional sauvignon blanc, today, wines with excellent flavour expressions are also being produced from other cultivars in the Groenekloof ward.
VISIT NEIL ELLIS WINES
Today the journey of Neil Ellis Wines is not only about Neil. 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, with a local and international reputation for exceptional elegance and quality, 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.
Visit Neil Ellis Wines to taste and purchase the Neil Ellis wines, both current wines and older vintages from the vinoteque.
Tasting Room Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 10h00 - 16h30; Saturdays and Public Holidays 10h00 - 17h00; Closed on Sundays
Cheese and Charcuterie Platters: R120 to share