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Ernie Els Signature 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from South Africa
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • WE92
15.19% ABV
  • WS92
  • WW91
  • RP90
  • W&S91
  • WS90
  • WS92
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5.0 1 Ratings
15.19% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Plum red with a thin red rim. The aroma of the wine is fruit driven with combination of the black fruits plum, cherries and blackberries. The fruitcake aromas are rounded off by a subtle oak spice to the finish. There are also distinctive earthy undertones to this claret. The fruit from the aroma follows through onto a seductive mid-palate, supported by a silky mineral feel with hints of oak and backed by a sweet tannin finish.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Signature is a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, and 5% each of Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It has a well-defined bouquet with blackberry, cassis, espresso and dried herbs. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine, supple tannins. It has impressive focus and delineation with crisp acidity and bright blackberry, orange zest and apricot on the finish. This is a great wine.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
This is rather toasty, exhibiting lots of dark cocoa and espresso up front, but with a very solid core of cassis and dark plum fruit for balance. Notes of singed bay mingle with smoky black tea on the finish, which smolders nicely. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
This is a dark, dense and brooding Bordeaux-style blend, comprised of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec and 5% Cabernet Franc. Notes of cocoa, cigar tobacco and leather jazz up the black-fruit core of cassis, black plum and berry. The palate is full and gripping, with firm tannins that hang on tightly through the long and slightly smoky finish. Drink after decanting now, or enjoy through 2018.
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Ernie Els

Ernie Els

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Ernie Els, , South Africa
Ernie Els
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.

Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region and also home to whites of equivalent quality but lesser renown. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation—Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Baja—wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Baja produce wines with deep color and high alcohol which mainly serve to add body to a blend. While fresh and fruity Riojas labeled “Joven” undergo minimal aging before release, a hallmark of more serious Rioja wines is the aroma and flavor of new oak—traditionally American, which imparts characteristics of dill, coconut, vanilla, and spice to the wine. Tighter-grained, subtler French oak, however, is becoming increasingly common. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged at least one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two, but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.

Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, providing complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body and alcohol. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés. White wines are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura, which is usually blended with aromatic Malvasia and weighty Garnacha Blanca. White Rioja has traditionally been made in a nutty, oxidative style, though a bright, unoaked version is currently in vogue.

Tempranillo

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

In the Glass

Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.

Sommelier Secret

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

RPT45031399_2008 Item# 121287

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