Welcome to the Western Cape Wineries - a kiwi's opinion blog

I originally set up this blog to help foreigners have an enjoyable experience when visiting the western cape wineries in South Africa.

I realised that it is very difficult for a tourist to choose where to go and which wineries to visit, when you have 600+ wine producers to choose from.

When I first moved to SA December 2010, my palate struggled to adjust to SA wine, b
ut after living here for a while and after visiting over 100+ wine estates, I have found many wines which I really like and can highly recommend.

Admittingly, when you come from another country it is hard not to compare the wine in SA to what you are used to back home. However, once you realise they are not the same (they have their own characteristics due to the different soil, climate etc) and appreciate their wines for being SA wines, it will improve your opinion and experience of the wines immediately.

If you are staying in SA for a while, don't dispair, your palate will change, and you will soon find yourself liking SA wine over your home countries wine!!

I hope my blog will help wine lovers have an enjoyable wine experience while in SA.

Please note: I am not a wine connoisseur. The comments I write about the wine is mostly for my own benefit of having them on record.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Neil Ellis

Lovely location, with a modern building, I had a nice wine tasting experience here.

This wine estate is in Stellenbosch and on a road with many wine estates worthwhile visiting!! If you visit Neil Ellis be sure to visit Tokara and Delaire while out this way, that will make for an awesome one day or half day wine tour!!

To do a wine tasting here costs R25 for a Premium Range Tasting and R35 for a Vineyard Selection Range tasting. I found the Vineyard Selection more serious drinking wines and felt they could benefit from some aging.

The ladies in the tasting room were very pleasant and polite. The lady serving me was struggling to remember the facts on the wine, but perhaps it was just one of those days. The service was good nonetheless.

I did a complete tasting of both ranges. It was good to understand the difference between the two ranges.

I also enjoyed a fabulous cheese platter while here. These platters are very good value and delicious.

The tasting room has a fireplace so if the weather is not so great you can enjoy your wine tasting in warmth. Having said that, the tasting room is quite big and as you can see doesn't really have that personal touch and looks like it is designed for the masses. If you don't come here in a group then you may like to do your tasting at the bar like I did. You then get more of a personal wine tasting as you are closer to the assistants and therefore they spend a bit more time with you and are more available if you feel like asking questions about the wine.

I do recommend visiting this estate if you are looking for good quality wine and an awesome cheese platter.

My tasting notes:

Vineyard Selection Range:

Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection SB 2010 R125 More green tones than the premium SB. Asparagus. French oak and stainless steel tanks used.

Neil Ellis Vineyards Selection Grenache 2010 - limited. R275. Prominant cherry on the nose. Stem taste with dark berry flavours. Light - medium body. Slightly tart on the palate. Lovely lingering cherry aftertaste. Nice!

Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection Pinotage 2010 R220. Gorgeous nose, light - medium body. Little dry. Tannins were a bit much for me. Slight sweet notes on the palate. Little sour.

Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection Syrah 2010 R220. Smooth, light - medium body, cherry flavour. Lovely finish. Dark berry tones. Like!!

Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 R220. More serious tasting than the premium Cabernet. Dark berry flavours. Little dry.

Premium Range:

Neil Ellis Groenekloof Sauvignon Blanc 2012 R75. Light green, apple, lemon, fig, guava. Nicely balanced with intense fruit flavours. Smooth. Crisp, citrus finish, lingering aftertaste. Balanced acidity with fruitiness.

Neil Ellis Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2012 R90. Soft vanilla nose, little floral. Smooth (could be smoother), light chardonnay. Slight apple and pear taste. Lime finish with minerality.

Neil Ellis Aenigma 2012 (White Blend) R65. Blend of Viognier and Chenin Blanc. Interesting lime zest finish (sour). Apple taste. Medium body, smooth, sweet yet sour, acidic tones balance with round mouth feel. Like.

Neil Ellis NLH 2011 - limited. R125. Nice light cloudy honey nose, light on palate, not too sweet. Nice.

Neil Ellis Shiraz 2010. R90. Light - medium body. A little spicy, fruity, smooth. Nicely balanced. Lingering spicy yet smooth finish.

Neil Ellis Pinotage 2009 R90. Tobacco box nose, fruity, dark cherry flavour, lingering finish. Light - medium body. Like.

Neil Ellis Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. R125. Green nose with capsicum aroma. Little dry but very fruity. Intense flavour!! Love this wine!!

Neil Ellis Aenigma 2011 (Red Blend) R65. Blend of Shiraz and Cab Sauv. I didn't like this wine. It was a little dry and sour/tart. Nose and palate not balanced. A little spicy.

Neil Ellis Aenigma 2011. R65. 100% Chardonnay Muscat. Toasty/oaky nose, smooth, round mouth feel. Medium bodied. Very nice, little creamy. Liked!!

My favourites were the Vineyard Selection Grenache and Syrah. The Premium Range SB, Aenigma (white) and the Cabernet Sauvignon.

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