Neil Ellis Sauvignon Blancs are stunners
Neil Ellis is an admired and loved member of the Wine Community in South Africa. One of the early negociant style winemakers who has neither vineyard nor cellar yet produced great wines from his early days. He, it was, who really put the Darling Wine Appellation on the map, and its Groenekloof Ward in particular when he began using the region’s grapes and in 1991 released the first Groenekloof Sauvignon Blanc – showing Darling to be a cool climate wine region with the cool breezes off the Benguela Current ameliorating summer heat in the vineyards. Now with his family involved, Neil boasts a beautiful cutting edge winery which sits above Ida’s Valley in Stellenbosch.
Friday May 4th is International Sauvignon Blanc Day so I thought I would give you information about the Neil Ellis Sauvignons.
This is the wine, which in 1991, firmly placed Darling district and its Groenekloof ward on the South African Wine wine map. Hand harvested from 20 year old bushvines, the yield from which is low yielding as it has no supplementary irrigation. Left to mature on the lees which adds so much to the mouthfeel, particularly in the mid palate it is a multi-layered well-constructed wine. It is even handedly priced.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle with screw cap. Elegant Neil Ellis livery. In the glass, a pale gold straw with green flashes. Bright white flowers and an undertow of fynbos herbaceousness. From entry a golden thread of acidity moves gently through tropical fruits like desiccated pineapple, piel de sapo melon with an undertow of rocket interwoven in the long and gently waning aftertaste.
While this is a great glass as an anytime refresher, it is good with food. Sushi, sashimi or a well prepared Peruvian Ceviche, oysters or mussels cooked in white wine are all admirable partners.
The Neil Ellis Amica 2017 is 100% Barrel-Fermented Sauvignon Blanc. It is, as expected, a complex, layered expression of Sauvignon Blanc from a single vineyard in the Jonkershoek Valley in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation, above the eponymous University town. Once in the cellar, the grapes were whole-bunch pressed using a Champagne pressing cycle to ensure that only the finest quality juice, the cuvée, was used. Fermentation took place with natural vineyard yeasts in 500 litre French oak puncheons. 20% of these were first fill barrels. Maturation in these barrels lasted 9 months before the wine was prepared for bottling. Recommended retail price is well set at R225.00 to R275.00
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. The livery is classical Neil Ellis. Whiffs of white flowers like honeysuckle and frangipani, and scrunched fynbos herbs precede wonderful mature flavours of ripe white fleshed peaches and nectarines. Creamy with sweet tropical limes and Melissa, there is a fresh acidity from entry running through to the after tastes where the fruit, acidity and Jonkershoek minerality are interwoven in vibrant ending.
Perhaps more of a food wine as the one above. Certainly would tackled smoked fish, or a fillet of SASSI friendly white fish gently pan fried with lemon and parsley.
Read more about Neil Ellis Wines – CLICK HERE
Product and some information from Hazell PR