Neil Ellis Wines

Cabernet Sauvignon Jonkershoek – 2015

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.

The Wine

Vineyard Profile
  • Well established, trellised vineyards planted on Southwest facing mountain, on northwest facing slope
  • Well drained, decomposed granite soils
  • Access to supplementary irrigation
  • One of the coolest sites in Stellenbosch
Harvest Notes
  • Winter relatively cold and wet
  • Summer warm and dry
  • Early budding and early harvest season
  • Ripening season had warm days and cool evenings
  • Grapes harvested at 25.8°Brix with 7.5 g/l total acids
  • Fermentation in stainless steel tanks, pumpovers until dry
  • Maceration continued before drained and lightly pressed
  • Malolactic fermentation cpmpleted in 100% new French oak barrels
  • Aged 18 months in barrel
Winemaker's Notes

This is the signature Cabernet Sauvignon of Neil Ellis. 2015 is the first vintage of a new vineyard planted in the Jonkershoek Valley. It is a distinctive style with all the hallmarks of the Jonkershoek Valley which is known for its balance of elegance and power.

Intense dark colour. The nose shows restraint, with deep underlying aromas, of complex blue and black berry perfumes. Cedary aromas, so typical of a Jonkershoek wine. The palate is nervous and fresh followed by fine, but dense tannins. This is a wine which is built to last and for early drinking would benefit with decanting.

Wine Summary

100% Cabernet Sauvignon; 14.5% alcohol; vines grown on Southeast facing slope in coolest part of Stellenbosch; soils of decomposed granite; cold winter and warm summer with early bud break and harvest; fermented in stainless steel tanks; secondary fermentation in 100% new French oak barrels; aged 18 months in barrel before December 2016 bottling.

Technical Information
  • 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Alcohol: 14.5%
  • TA: 5.93 g/l
  • pH: 3.62
  • RS: 2.08 g/l
  • Bottled: December 2016


91+ Points

The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Jonkershoek Valley opens to a nose framed by classic Cabernet notes of blackberry, red plum, dark cherry, dusty cassis and currant with the supporting lift of oak spices, made more complex by a slightly herbal edge. Medium to full-bodied, the palate shows impressive depth and concentration, as the black and red fruit mingle with characteristics of graphite, cinnamon and smoked peppers. The wine concludes with a youthful and tight finish that will reward those who are patient. Give it some time. Drink 2022- 2032

© Wine Advocate, March, 2020

17 Points

Notably dark crimson. Pretty subtle, intriguing, appetising nose. Lots of intensity and juice. Also lots of tannic structure but a glamorous, non-flashy whole. Aromatic with lots of clean fruit. 2022 – 2032, February, 2020

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