Ernie Els, Big Easy Red 750ml 2017

South Africa, Stellenbosch
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Ernie Els Wines focuses on producing premium Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet based blends and this is the “Golden Thread” that runs through the portfolio. The Signature and Proprietor’s wines are the pinnacle of the winemaking efforts and are all terroir driven and the result of specific barrel selection of grapes grown on the estate. The ‘Varietal’ range consisting of Classic Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and a West Coast Sauvignon Blanc which reflect the specific areas the grapes originate from. The Big Easy range has been created to emulate the personality and characteristics of the Big Easy himself and the way he plays the game. Big, smooth and easy going.

Tasting notes:
'Satisfying shiraz-led 6-way combo, 2017 steps up on already handsome 2016 (3 stars, 81 pts) with expressive violet bouquet, polished tannins, savoury tail seasoned with older oak.' – Platters Wine Guide 2019, 87/100

'The 2017 Big Easy is arguably the most serious and riveting vintage yet. The dry vintage was conducive to producing a superbly concentrated, beguiling wines that dazzles the senses. It is a shade darker with a black core, offering a brooding nose that takes time to unfold. Complexity is revealed with elegantly ripe black berry, liquorice, fine Chinese spice and smoked herbs. A majority of Shiraz cloaks the palate with fruit-laden tannins, covered in melted milk chocolate and Morello cherries. 20% Cabernet Sauvignon adds a backbone of minerality and definition, while equal parts of Cinsault, Mouvèdre, Grenache and Viognier add a Mediterranean feel. It shows solid grip and power in its youth, suggesting up to a decade of maturation.' – Winemaker

Winemakers notes:
The previous growing season had its challenges, which seemed to roll over into the 2016/2017 growing season with the continuation of the drought. Winter 2016 was quite dry with even less rain than the previous year. Spring was an illusion as we basically went straight into warmer days. Bud burst was good due to sufficent soil moisture, but with the warmer spring/summer, the soil started losing moisture quickly which naturally reduced shoot growth.

The vines then naturally focus their energy on developing and ripening the small bunches. Smaller berries led to more concentrated colour and flavour. The dry conditons also led to the vineyards and grapes being very healthy overall. With moderate, but warm days during December and January, we saw the start of harvest return to its normal date. The uninterrupted warmth during harvest also helped the bunches reach optimal ripeness while the berries steadily developed their flavours over a slightly longer period of time. The white wines from the 2017 vintage appear astoundingly good, with great structure and good flavours.

More Information
Variety Blend
Winemaker Louis Strydom
Drink to Drink now
Producer information Ernie Els Wines is located in Stellenbosch on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain. The Winery was officially opened in 2004, however the first vintage of the Ernie Els Signature was 2000. With award-winning winemaker Louis Strydom, they focus on red wines, in particular Cabernet Sauvignon.
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