Neil Ellis Wines

Cabernet Sauvignon Jonkershoek – 2014

Region: South Africa - Stellenbosch

Neil Ellis Wines

Neil Ellis is a South African wine industry icon and one of the early pioneers to bring quality levels up to world class standards. The winery sits 5 miles east of the town of Stellenbosch in the Jonkershoek Valley. It was founded in 1993 with the philosophy to source grapes from the top growers of the region. The eco-friendly winery produces wines from the regions of Stellenbosch, Darling, Darbanville and Elgin.

Grapes / Soils

100% Cabernet Sauvignon


The majority of the Jonkershoek Valley is a nature reserve well known for its fynbos, trails and waterfalls but it is the mouth of the valley that is known for its distinctive conditions best suited for grape growing. The 98.8 acres/40ha of vines on the Oude Nektar farm were planted during an ongoing replanting program that started in 1990 introducing the latest soil preparation techniques and best plant material. The south facing slopes are significantly cooler than the surrounding area of Stellenbosch and a howling South Eastern wind during the summer months cools down the vineyards considerably, minimizing vine disease and holding down yields. The soils are mostly deep, red clay soils. Vineyard altitudes range from 625 t0 1805 feet/190 to 550 meters above sea level.

The Wine

Vineyard Profile

These limited release wines demonstrate the distinctiveness of specific vineyard sites and represent our finest quality.  The Jonkershoek Valley and more specifically the south facing slopes are of the coolest sites in Stellenbosch.

Well established trellised vineyards planted on a northwest facing slope on well-drained decomposed granite soils.  These vineyard have access to supplementary irrigation.

Harvest Notes

Cold and wet winter conditions and a relatively warm and dry summer resulted in good and even budding.  Grapes were harvested at 25.7°B.

Fermentation is initiated in stainless steel tanks.  The crushed grapes underwent a series of pump overs until dry.  Further maceration is allowed before drawing off and light pressing.  Malolactic fermentation completed in new French oak barrels.  This wine spent 18 months in 100% new French oak barrels.

Bottled in December 2015.

Winemaker's Notes

This is the signature Cabernet Sauvignon of Neil Ellis.  It is a distinctive style with all the hallmarks of the Jonkershoek Valley and known for its distinctive balance of elegance and fruit power.  Medium intense ruby red color.  Restraint aroma but deep, complex perfumes of blue and black small berry fruit.  Cedary aromas, so typical of a Jonkershoek wine.  The palate is smooth and plush followed by fine, but dense tannins.  A ripe, soft tannin vintage, with savory expression.

Wine Summary

• Made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
• Vines age – planted 1992 – 2010.
• Grown on decomposed granite soils in Jonkershoek Valley.
• Fermented initiated in stainless steel tanks.
• Malolactic fermentation completed in French oak barrels.
• Aged in French oak barrels, 100% new, for 18 months before bottling.

Technical Information

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Alcohol:  14.0%

Residual Sugar:  2.5 g/l

Total Acid:  6.1 g/l

pH:  3.57


Double Gold Medal – 2017 Veritas Wine Competition South Africa



91+ Points

Beginning with a dark ruby core, the nose of the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Jonkershoek Valley has soft, dusty red fruit essences with hints of slightly stewed plums, blackberry and redcurrant before highlighting a soft minty, herbaceous tone. Medium to full-bodied, the wine is balanced with lifting tannins that grow with sweet baking spices (from the oak) and give way to firm tannins that build across the mid-palate. On the lingering finish is a balanced expression of dusty black cherry skin and nuances of dried sage with an element of bitter black tea. It’s very food friendly and should continue to drink well until the end of this decade.  2021 – 2029

© Wine Advocate, May, 2021

General Info

Country South Africa
Region Western Cape
Appellation(s) Stellenbosch, Darling/Groenekloof, Elgin
Proprietor Neil Ellis
Founded 1993
Winemaker Warren Ellis
Annual Production 50,000 9L cases
Farming (Sustainable, organic, biodynamic) Sustainable