Wines Portfolio

Ernie Els Signature Blend

Technical Analysis

Winemaker Louis Strydom
Main Variety Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol 14.75 %vol
pH 3.78
RS 3.2 g/l
Total Acid 6.3 g/l
Appellation Stellenbosch

Characteristics

Type Red
Style Dry
Body Full

TASTING NOTES
The Cabernet Sauvignon-led Bordeaux-style blend shows an intensely purple rim and deep crimson core, leading to impressive concentration and startling depth. Nuances of fig jam, cigar box and meat spice slowly arise from the glass, complemented by ripe red cherries and a hint of fine milk chocolate. The palate is supported by ultra-fine, layered tannins that are seemingly wrapped in mixed red berry fruits. Pure and elegant, the finish lingers with juicy cassis and a salty, mineral tail. Enjoy now through to 2028+.

THE 2013 VINTAGE
The 2013 harvest season started a week later than usual. Prolonged winter conditions continued in some areas up until September, followed by a cool spring which delayed bud burst by 7 to 14 days. The cold, wet weather conditions ensured even bud burst as well as the accumulation of water supplies that would allow the vineyards to cope with the warmer conditions later in the season. The vineyards had good growth in ideal dry weather conditions during the flowering and berry-set periods – although this also occurred later than usual. Early cultivars ripened later but an extremely dry and warm December resulted in the late cultivars ripening as normal. Ideal weather conditions during the harvest season prevailed with moderate day-time temperatures, cool evenings and no prolonged spells of rain or heat waves; this all impacted positively on grape quality and established good colour and flavour. It was also a particularly healthy year and diseases, pests and rot only occurred later in the season, while the warm and dry weather conditions together with effective disease and pest control resulted in minimal losses.

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.

WINEMAKING
The grapes were hand-picked in the cool of early morning. On the sorting table, all excess stalks and inferior berries were carefully removed. Grape bunches were gently destalked with a Bucher de-stalker and lightly crushed. Fermentation took place in 7-ton, open-top stainless steel tanks with yeast WE 372 being added to the juice. The wines were pumped-over and punched-down manually 5 times per day ensuring maximum colour extraction from the skins. After primary fermentation the maceration period was 10 – 16 days before pressing. Each variety is maturated separately (micro-vinified) in oak barrels before blending and eventual bottling.

Blend Information
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec, 5% Cabernet Franc.

Cooperage
Aged for 20 months – 300 litre French Oak barrels (70% new).

Harvest
March & April, 2013. 25.5° Brix average sugar at harvest.

Production
3000 x 6 x 750ml cases; 182 x 1.5L; 29 x 3L; 29 x 5L.

Sustainability initiative
I.P.W. (Intergrated Production Wine) Certified.

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