Neil Ellis Wines

Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch – 2018

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

Multiple established vineyard sites in the Bottelary Hills and Jonkershoek Valley of Stellenbosch.

  • Aspect: Southwest
  • Soils: Decomposed granite
  • Vine Training Systems: Trellis
Harvest Notes
  • Grapes harvested between 25 – 25.5ºB, with total acid 7 – 7.8 g/l, pH 3.4 – 3.5
  • Grapes crushed and pumpovers until dry in stainless steel tanks
  • Further maceration followed by light pressing
  • Malolactic fermentation in 25% new French oak barrels, the balance in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fill
  • Aged 18 months in 25% new French oak, the balance in 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill
  • Bottled December 2018
Winemaker's Notes

Showing what Stellenbosch as a collective can do with Cabernet Sauvignon, this award-winning wine celebrates the noble variety within a multi-vineyard blend. It pays tribute to the culture-rich town of Stellenbosch from which grows a reputation of innovation, originality, resourcefulness and creativity; the core principles of winemaking.

The color is dark and intense. The nose shows restraint, with aromas of complex black berry, licorice and cedar notes. A rounded and fresh palate, followed by fine, dense tannins. This is a wine built to last and for early drinking would benefit from decanting.

Pair with chargrilled ribeye on the bone.

Wine Summary

86% Cabernet Sauvignon; alcohol: 14.5%; multiple vineyards across the Bottelary Hills and Jonkershoek Valley; decomposed granite soils on Southwest-facing slopes; malolactic fermentation and aging for 18 months in 25% new French oak barrels, the balance in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fill.

Technical Information
  • 86% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Alcohol: 14.5%
  • Total Acidity: 5.9 g/l
  • pH; 3.5
  • Residual Sugar: 1.9 g/l


92 Points

This wine is intended to show what Stellenbosch is capable of collectively. It is not only a multi-vineyard wine but also includes just under 14% Petit Verdot. Cassis, some leafiness and a hint of oak on the nose, while the palate is full-bodied with plenty of ripe fruit and firm but fine tannins, the finish long and dry.  2020 – 2026

Decanter, August, 2020

16 Points

Limpid mid-deep ruby. Espresso, coal smoke and graphite on the nose, with ripe, spicy black fruit. The ripe cassis, tobacco and cedar on the palate are dense enough for the powdery tannins, and there’s decent length too. A pretty classic South African Cabernet. (TJ) 14.5%
Drink 2021 – 2026

Full bottle 1,323 g. 86.3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.7% Petit Verdot, from vineyards planted in decomposed granite soils, in the Bottelary Hills and Jonkershoek Valley. Harvested at 25–25.5 °Balling, with TA 7–7.8 g/l and pH 3.4–3.5. Crushed. Fermentation in stainless-steel tanks, with pumpovers until dry. Further maceration was allowed before drawing off and light pressing. Malolactic fermentation was completed in French oak barrels. 18 months in 25% new French oak with the balance second-, third- and fourth-fill. Technical cork. TA 6 g/l, pH 3.5, RS 1.8 g/l., February, 2022

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