Neil Ellis Wines

Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch – 2019

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

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

  • Exposure: Southwest
  • Soils: Decomposed granite
  • Vine Training Systems: Trellis
Harvest Notes
  • Grapes harvested between 25 to 25.5° Brix, acids 7 – 7.8 g/l and pH: 3.4 – 3.5
  • Fermentation in stailess steel tanks, pumpovers until dry
  • Further maceration before light pressing
  • Malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels
  • Aged 18 months in 25% new French oak, the balance in 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill barrels
Winemaker's Notes

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

Pair with bone-in chargrilled steaks.

Wine Summary

86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec; alcohol: 14%; 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, 12% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec
  • Alcohol: 14%
  • Total Acidity: 6.0 g/l
  • pH: 3.50
  • Residual Sugar: 1.6 g/l


92 Points

Aromas of red and black cherry, milk chocolate and sweet paprika. Medium-bodied with fine, slightly tight tannins. Juicy and fresh, with subtle nutmeg and clove notes adding welcome complexity. I like the classic structure here. Drink now., December, 2022

92 Points

A fresh, focused red, with black currant and black raspberry fruit showing lovely purity. Offers sculpted tannins that create a sleek frame, while accents of violet, iron, milled pepper and black tea leaves provide fine detail and linger on the racy finish. Drink now through 2029.

Wine Spectator, March, 2023

18 Points

Full bottle 1,307 g. 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec. TA 6 g/l, pH 3.47, RS 1.9 g/l.
Tasted blind. Rich and layered. Nuanced and quite exciting with a sweet, ripe tannic undertow. Long, clean, polished finish. 2024 – 2034, June, 2023

92 Points

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch is fresh and ripe with layers of blackberry and juicy plum aromas. It is full-bodied, offering notes of pencil shavings with a hint of graphite before swinging back to show juicy fruit flavors emanating in layers of complexity. The palate is balanced with a beam of energetic acidity that races to the long-lasting, juicy finish with persistent blackberry and dark cherry skin essences. Bravo! This is fantastic juice. 2023 – 2035

© Wine Advocate, July, 2023

91 Points

Firmly structured and balanced, this Cabernet Sauvignon opens with subtle notes of dried fruit and plums. It has nice chocolate nib flavors mixed with cranberry and blueberry. Additional flavors include a potpourri of herbs that lend savory notes to the aftertaste.

Wine Enthusiast, October, 2023

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