Ernie Els Big Easy Red Blend 2017

The previous growing season had its challenges, which seemed to roll over into the 2016/2017 growing season with the continuation of the drought. Winter 2016 was quite dry with even less rain than the previous year. Spring was an illusion as we basically went straight into warmer days. Bud burst was good due to sufficent soil moisture, but with the warmer spring/summer, the soil started losing moisture quickly which naturally reduced shoot growth. The vines then naturally focus their energy on developing and ripening the small bunches. Smaller berries led to more concentrated colour and flavour. The dry conditons also led to the vineyards and grapes being very healthy overall. With moderate, but warm days during December and January, we saw the start of harvest return to its normal date. The uninterrupted warmth during harvest also helped the bunches reach optimal ripeness while the berries steadily developed their flavours over a slightly longer period of time. The white wines from the 2017 vintage appear astoundingly good, with great structure and good flavours.

Sommelier's Selection - (Elegant and Classy)
Vitis Vinifera - Gold 

  • Tasting Notes

    The 2017 Big Easy is arguably the most serious and riveting vintage yet. The dry vintage was conducive to producing a superbly concentrated, beguiling wines that dazzles the senses. It is a shade darker with a black core, offering a brooding nose that takes time to unfold. Complexity is revealed with elegantly ripe black berry, liquorice, fine Chinese spice and smoked herbs. A majority of Shiraz cloaks the palate with fruit-laden tannins, covered in melted milk chocolate and Morello cherries. 20% Cabernet Sauvignon adds a backbone of minerality and definition, while equal parts of Cinsault, Mouvèdre, Grenache and Viognier add a Mediterranean feel. It shows solid grip and power in its youth, suggesting up to a decade of maturation. 

  • Technical Analysis

    Alc. 14.56% by Vol.
    R.S. 2.8 g/l
    T.A. 5.8 g/l
    pH 3.65

  • Blend Information

    Shiraz 60%
    Cabernet Sauvignon 20%
    Grenache 5%
    Mourvèdre 5%
    Cinsault 5%
    Viognier 5%

  • In The Vineyard

    The Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Viognier were sourced from selected vineyard parcels on the Helderberg mountain within the Stellenbosch appellation. The typical Hutton Clovelly soil found on the Helderberg, contains a high gravel content, which offers rich middle palate weight, giving this wine exceptional depth and fruit purity. The Cinsault grapes were sourced from a specific vineyard site planted with 26-year-old dryland bush vines in the Perdeberg region.

  • About The Harvest

    March & April, 2017. 24.5° Brix average sugar at harvest