Glenelly Lady May 2013
#85 of Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 of 2020
Lady May is Glenelly’s Flagship Estate wine, named for proprietor May-Eliane de Lencquesaing. This brooding Bordeaux-inspired red displays velvety tannins and lush dark fruit, perfectly balanced by fresh acidity. A true reflection of the Glenelly terroir, it flaunts concentrated flavors of blackcurrant, raspberry and blackberry, tinged with delicate herbal, cedar and spice notes. The fine, well-integrated tannins give this wine considerable aging potential.
Blend: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This is a beautiful, expressive wine, with loads of potpourri, dried floral and cinnamon-spice notes that lead on the nose and ride atop the decadent fruit tones of blackberry, boysenberry and black plum flesh. The palate is full and smooth, yet not overdone or overly opulent, with more of those ripe black fruit flavors that are partnered with tones of tilled earth, licorice, light char and freshly ground coffee. The tannins are structuring, yet well integrated into the mix, with a long finish to seal the deal.
The 2013 Lady May bursts out of the glass with a deep and brooding nose of ripe black fruits and softly stewed red fruits. Juicy blackberry, cherry compote and black plum with soft cinnamon spices show the depth and concentration on the palate, then shows a complex and broad mid-palate with good balance of depth and weight. Full-bodied, finessed and powerful, Lady May delivers pleasure at every turn and lingers long with a thoughtful conclusion that whispers in my ear to take a second and third sip. If you let it, this wine may seduce you.
Located on the southern slopes of the Simonsberg, Glenelly is owned by May-Eliane de Lencquesaing, Bordeaux doyenne and former owner of Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. Struck by the tremendous potential of South Africa's terroir and the beauty of the country, Mme de Lencquesaing decided to embark on a French adventure on African soil. She purchased Glenelly in 2003, and subsequently planted 66 of the property's 128 hectares to vineyards. The first estate-grown fruit came on line in 2007, and Glenelly's state-of-the-art winery building was completed in 2009. The wines are fermented naturally and made with as little intervention as possible, seeking to achieve the perfect balance of French style and South African terroir.
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.