Ernie Els Proprietor's Blend 2015
A marriage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz produces an uber concentrated mélange of red and black fruits, elegantly framed by the four other Bordeaux varieties. It’s a big wine with a plush fruit core and rich savory complexity. Notes of fresh organum, dried sage and roast beef gravy give generosity and depth, with the sweet fruit running from start to long finish. The tannins are glossy and finely tuned, offering a modern expression that is raised to a new level in 2015. The finely balanced, structure finish provides the perfect shell for long maturation.
Blend: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Shiraz, 5% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Still quite closed when I tasted it - a number of 2015s have turned inwards at the moment - this blend of the five red Bordeaux varieties with 20% Shiraz is dusty, firm and concentrated with some assertive American oak. 2020-25. Alcohol: 14.6%
A plump, polished red, this pumps up the lean, black-currant flavors of cabernet with minty, plummy syrah; the blend also includes some merlot, cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot. Aged 18 months in oak (French and American, used and new), the wine is smooth and chocolate-rich, approachable now with a steak
South Africa’s most famous wine-producing district, Stellenbosch, surrounds the historic town with the same name; fine winemaking here dates back to the late 1600s. Its valleys of granite, sandstone and alluvial loam soils between the towering blue-grey mountains of Stellenbosch, Simonsberg and Helderberg have the capacity to produce beautiful wines from many varieties. The climate is warm Mediterranean, tempered by the cool Atlantic air of nearby False Bay.
Perhaps most well-known for its Pinotage and Bordeaux blends, Stellenbosch also produces noteworthy wines from Syrah, Chenin blanc, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc. The district’s wards—Banghoek, Bottelary, Devon Valley, Jonkershoek Valley, Papegaaiberg, Polkadraai Hills and Simonsberg-Stellenbosch—all produce distinctive wines from vines with relatively low yields.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.