Glenelly, Lady May 2015 Bottle size: 750mlSouth Africa, Stellenbosch
At its launch, the 2015 vintage of Lady May, the top-end Cape Bordeaux red blend from Stellenbosch property Glenelly, was tasted alongside two leading examples from Bordeaux – Rauzan-Ségla 2015 (95 CE) from Margaux and Cos d’Estournel (94 CE) from Saint Estèphe; both second growths. Here's what Christian Eedes had to say about the 2015 Lady May:
'69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot. Cassis, violets, fynbos and dark chocolate on the nose – that much more immediate and expressive than either of its two Bordeaux counterparts. The palate is full but balanced with dense fruit, good freshness and firm but fine tannins. Showing both focus and poise, this was my top wine of the trio right now although I did wonder if it will last quite as long.' – Christian Eedes, Winemag.co.za, 96/100 (25 January 2021)
'Profound, graceful, 2 years in 92% new oak, a Bordeaux blend as always, cabernet led - 69% in 2015. Brooding blackcurrant, mulberry fruit in complex harmony with loam, graphite & crushed herbs. A collector’s item - decant for now.' – Platter's Guide, 95/100
'Still finishing in bottle, winemaker Luke O'Cuinneagain says this vintage won't be released until late 2021 (or perhaps even 2022 if Covid-19 delays things further), but that extra time will only benefit what is a 'textbook' vintage. It's hard to believe that the vines were only 10 years old for this wine, such is its power and concentration. Compared to the 91% Cabernet Sauvignon of 2008, this vintage is now 69%, with 13% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot – a blend O'Cuinneagain thinks is 'about perfect'. Tight and closed still, with chewy tannins, crisp acidity and lots of cedar oak. Muscular black and blue fruit lurks behind along with iron shavings. All the elements for a great wine, with fine ageing potential. 2020 - 2036.' – Decanter, 95/100
'Their Greatest Creation to Date... Deep, dark and broody, this wine speaks with all the authority and confidence of a 5-star block buster vintage. Brimming with black menthol cassis, boiled black berry sweets, black cherry and tight grained cedar spice, this wine wears a super hero gown of graphite and stony minerality and whispers quality from the moment it hits the glass. Tight, focused and impressively compact, there is a seamless saline black currant balance with linear polished marble tannins and a super intense concentration. This is the culmination of years of winemaking refinement and is without doubt the finest red wine produced to date at the Glenelly Estate revealing the true terroir quality potential of these groomed, premium Stellenbosch vineyards. Drink from Release with decanting and over the next 20+ years.' –Greg Sherwood MW, 96+/100
'Very much a wine that is built to last, this is ripe, tannic and intense, combining cut grass and green herb aromas with lots of cedarwood, cigar box and structured dark berry fruit. Cabernet Sauvignon leads the way, supported by 31% Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Possibly just a little figgy on the finish. 2022-29.' – Tim Atkin MW, 94/100
The grapes were lightly crushed into stainless steel tanks. The fermentation was done by natural yeast with a mixture of rack and returns and open pump overs. Then post-fermentation skin contact was done during 2-3 weeks and pressed gently. Malolactic fermentation occurred in French oak barrels. The wine stayed on the lees for a long period of time before racking. Racked on average every 4 months. Matured during 24 months in new French oak barrels. During the ageing, the wine is clarified with natural egg whites and then bottled later.
|Technical analysis||TA: 5.7g/l | pH: 3.52 | RS: 2.1g/l|
|Blend information||69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot|
|Body||Medium to full-bodied|
|Drink to||Long-term cellaring|
|Producer information||Glenelly was established in 2003 with a clear vision to produce long-ageing fine wine. It was started by May de Lencquesaing, previous owner of Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in Bordeaux. Much work has gone into the vineyards, cellar and winemaking but, more notably, their old-world patience has contributed to the wines. The winery is environmentally friendly and the vineyards are managed with minimal intervention and sustainable techniques.|
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AG: Antonio Galloni of Vinous.com | AM: Allen Meadows of Burghound.com | CE: Christian Eedes of Winemag.co.za | DEC: Decanter | GS: Greg Sherwood MW | JS: James Suckling | JR: JancisRobinson.com | JD: Jeb Dunnuck | NM: Neal Martin of Vinous.com OM: Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show | PG: Platter's Guide | ST: Stephen Tanzer of Vinous.com | TA: Tim Atkin MW | VIN: Vinous.com | WA: Wine Advocate | WE: Wine Enthusiast | WM: Winemag.co.za Report | WS: Wine Spectator