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Flat front label of wine

Ernie Els Signature 2006

Bordeaux Red Blends from Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • W&S93
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • WE92
14.74% ABV
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  • WS93
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14.74% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2006 Ernie Els Signature has a solid, supremely deep garnet colored core. Notes of luxurious chocolate, crème de cassis and roast beef shower a rich, titillating structure. This classy Bordeaux-style blend is prodigious powerful yet impeccably pure and sleek. The high cabernet franc component adds a fine, glossy texture and seamless length. Exotic and sensual in its youth, expect the plush fruit and structure to interlace and command further complexity with age.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
Louis Strydom selects fruit for this blend (predominantly cabernet and merlot) from the northern slopes of the Helderberg Mountain. The elevation and sea breeze off the Atlantic make for concentrated fruit, tight and tense, that remains light and elegant on the palate. One taster said it shared the fruit quality of a ripe Cote de Nuits and the floral and meaty character of a Cote Rotie -a bit of a reach considering the blend lacks any pinot or syrah, but entirely spot-on texturally. The dark, earthy, mineral tannins indicate a long life ahead. Cellar for five years, or decant several hours before serving with roast squab.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 5% each of Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc and matured for 20 months in French oak, the 2006 Ernie Els Signature almost scores a hole in one. It has a very sensual, harmonious bouquet with dark red fruits, mocha, cedar and a touch of tobacco, whilst the palate is beautifully balanced with silky smooth tannins. The 14.7% alcohol is barely noticeable on the finish with touches of orange rind enlivening the long finish. Allow this at least a couple of hours decanting to show its true potential. Superb. Drink now-2017.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Very solid, with a tightly focused beam of winery black currant, plum and briar notes, laced with mouthwatering spice, black tea and roasted apple wood hints that help extend the finish. Racy acidity is well-buried. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2014. 336 cases imported.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
With only 336 cases imported, this Limited Edition red should be snagged up when seen. Herbal and fruity all at once with strong pepper and oregano aromas spicing up the black berry and cassis core. A touch of sweet cured meat, licorice, leather and roasted espresso appear on the finish, with assertive tannins filling the creamy mouth and lingering through the close. Drink now-2014.
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Ernie Els

Ernie Els

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Ernie Els, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Image of 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.

Stellenbosch

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South Africa’s most famous wine-producing district, Stellenbosch, surrounds its 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.

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.

CGM14114_2006 Item# 109297