Ernie Els Big Easy Red Blend 2011
Other Red Blends from South Africa
Ernie Els is known as "The Big Easy" due to his imposing height along with his fluid golf swing. This wine, made by cellar master Louis Strydom, reflects the same bold, balanced and winning nature.
With a dense and full-bodied palate, spice abounds from the dominant Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon adds punchy tannins and a robust structure. Floral and savoury notes from Mourvedre, Cinsaut and Viognier all contribute to the exotic rhythm of the Big Easy. Finally rounded-off by the gentle, sweet-fruited finish from a dash of comforting Grenache.
Blend: 61% Shiraz, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Grenache, 4% Cinsaut, 4% Mourvedre, 4% Viognier
International Wine Cellar - "Good dark, bright red. Brooding, inky aromas of blackberry, licorice and herbs complemented by a suggestion of dried berries. Silky on entry, then firm and a bit youthfully stunted in the middle palate, with black fruit, herb and spice flavors complicated by a leathery nuance. Sound acidity gives this wine good lift, but I'd wait a year or two before pulling the cork.
Ernie Els Winery
As a leading South African ambassador and one of the most recognizable faces in the world of sports, Ernie Els has long demonstrated a passion for excellence. Focus, discipline and commitment have led to his extraordinary golf success. These same qualities are evident in Ernie Els Wines, a quest to produce premium wine that was born in 1999. Els naturally chose Stellenbosch, South Africa's most storied wine region, to produce his wines and brought on the award-winning Louis Strydom to oversee winemaking. In 2000, the first grapes were crushed for the inaugural vintage of Ernie Els Signature. In 2004, a 178-acre property on the slopes of Helderberg Mountain was chosen as the home of Ernie Els Wines. View all Ernie Els Wines
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A long history of growing grapes and making wine, but less of a history on exporting it, and even lesser on the quality aspect. At the turn of the century (1900, that is), a surplus of wine in South Africa created a hierarchy of cooperatives, the biggest and best known being KWV. This organization seemed to favor quantity over quality and had most control over wines and vineyards until the late 1980's. Now, with a bit more competition, quality is coming around. Yet, South African wine was not even seen in American wine stores until the mid-1990's – the trade embargo on the country for their racial apartheid laws kept South African wine out of the US. When apartheid fell, so did the embargo, and SA bottles began showing up on US shelves.
White wine has always been the cash crop of South Africa, with much of it distilled to make brandy. More white than red is planted, much of it the Steen variety – known elsewhere in the world as Chenin Blanc. Good producers are making top quality dry wines from this grape. Another grape gaining some raves is Sauvignon Blanc, producing whites that are dry and crisp, yet rounder than many of its Southern Hemisphere counterparts. For reds, the top grapes are Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon (& blends) and Pinotage. Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends was once the favorite and most-produced, but Shiraz is taking over as wineries crank out high quality wines from the variety. Pinotage, which used to be a grape only your mother could love, has improved dramatically and is often as delicious as it is distinctive. The most popular regions of the country include Stellenbosch and Paarl.
About South AfricaRelated Links:
Notable FactsWhite wine has always been the cash crop of South Africa, with much of it distilled to make brandy. More white than red is planted, the majority of it is Steen – known elsewhere in the world as Chenin Blanc. Good producers are making top quality dry wines from this grape. Another grape the critics rave aboutSauvignon Blanc, producing whites that are dry and crisp, yet rounder than many of its Southern Hemisphere counterparts. For reds, the top grapes are Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon (& blends) and Pinotage. Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends were once the favorite and most-produced, but Shiraz is taking over as wineries crank out high quality wines from the variety. Pinotage, a man-made crossing between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, has improved dramatically and is often as delicious as it is distinctive. In describing red wines in South Africa, smoky and meaty are two terms that are common. Regionally, the most popular wine-making areas include Stellenbosch and Paarl.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review33.2 out of 5 stars
6 ratings, 5 with reviewswilliam wallace - Cary, NC44/20/2013
Such a big, bold, blend with a smooth finish of dark stone fruit and cocoa, will buy this bottle every time I see it available.tgrona - Brentwood, TN25/22/2013wine educator - Newport, OR35/14/2013
- Big & Bold
the name says it all - smooth, easy drinking red blend.Rebar - Jacksonville, FL44/16/2013
- Smooth & Supple
Very Nice. Big and bold and Smooth. You will like this if yor are looking for a big red with no Oak. Will order this againWV Cornhusker - New Martinsville, WV44/15/2013
- Big & Bold
Very smooth and drinkable with a good flavor. Excellent wine for the price.23/27/2013Total fruit bomb. If you like that sort of thing,,this wine is for you. Has that hint of barnyard you come to expect from South African reds as well.
- Smooth & Supple
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