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New Customers Save $30 off $100+* with code MARCHNEW30

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Ernie Els Proprietor's Blend 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from South Africa
  • WS92
  • WE90
  • RP90
15% ABV
  • WW92
  • RP91
  • WS91
  • WW90
  • WS90
  • RP93
  • WS91
  • RP92
  • WS91
  • WS92
  • WS90
  • WE90
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15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Ernie Els Proprietor's Blend 2008 has a dark black core with glass-staining depth. It is bold and powerful, offering inviting notes of chocolate, herbs and drops of freshly brewed coffee. Cabernet Sauvignon offers the sturdy backbone with the Shiraz adding a savoury edge to the pure, sweetly fruited mid-palate. Spicy new oak checks the ripe, folding tannins, all balanced by excellent lift on the finish. Finely tuned and delicious now, it will cellar well for another 5 to 10 years.

Cabernet Sauvignon 60%, Shiraz 19%, Merlot 6%, Cabernet Franc 5%, Malbec 5%, Petit Verdot 5%

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Dark and juicy, with a nice core of blackberry, black Mission fig and dark currant fruit woven deftly with mesquite, iron and black tea. A dark licorice edge hangs through the grippy finish. This has the length and poise for cellaring. Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2013.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Menthol and anise add depth to the otherwise black fruit-dominant bouquet of this wine. Rich and full, the creamy texture is loaded with flavors of blackberry, licorice root and cigar box, all lingering long after swallow. Firm tannins, medium acidity and concentrated fruit all promise longevity: drink now - 2014.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Shiraz and the rest Bordeaux varieties, the 2008 Proprietor’s Blend has a lifted nose of blackberry, cedar wood, raspberry coulis and tobacco. The palate is sweet and generous on the entry with good acidity, vibrant red-berried fruit with succulent cherry and wild strawberry towards the finish. Drink now-2018.
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Ernie Els

Ernie Els

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Ernie Els, South Africa
2008 Proprietor's Blend
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.

South Africa

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The South African wine renaissance is in full swing. Impressive red and white bargains abound. South Africa has a long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century. Today, however, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot, but the Benguela current from Antarctica provides the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

South Africa’s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for earthy, gamey reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following behind.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

SOU153459_2008 Item# 110796