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Greg Sherwood MW reviews Glenelly’s Lady May

Writing for winemag.co.za, Greg Sherwood MW has described Glenelly’s flagship wine, Lady May, a ‘Cape legend in the making‘. He tasted the 2015 vintage alongside the unreleased 2016 and 2017 vintages, with the following tasting notes:

2015 Lady May, Glenelly – 96+ pts
Deep, dark and broody, this wine speaks with all the authority and confidence of a 5-star blockbuster vintage. Brimming with black menthol cassis, boiled blackberry sweets, black cherry and tight-grained cedar spice, this wine wears a superhero gown of graphite and stony minerality and whispers quality from the moment it hits the glass. Tight, focused and impressively compact, there is a seamless saline black currant balance with linear polished marble tannins and a super intense concentration. This is the culmination of years of winemaking refinement and is, without doubt, the finest red wine commercially released to date at the Glenelly revealing the true terroir quality potential of these groomed, premium Stellenbosch vineyards. Drink from release and over the next 20+ years.

2016 Lady May, Glenelly – 94-95 pts
The 2016 blend throws a particularly dark, opaque red/black colour in the glass. Dark and foreboding but also ever so inviting at the same time. The aromatics are quite defined with perhaps the Cabernet Franc component currently punching way above its weight of 6% with seductive notes of freshly shaved cedar lead pencil spice, graphite, iron filings, iodine and the now hallmark Lady May character of dark, black, menthol cassis and peppermint crisp milk chocolate nuances. The palate is wonderfully suave and sleek, creamy and mouth coating with an accessibility and generosity of black and blueberry fruits that is very comforting and familiar. But just when you think the mouthfeel is all about silky tannins and fleshy black fruit concentration, the delicious tangy acids kick in to land this Hercules of a wine cleanly and effortlessly on the runway without even a hiccup. Like so many 2016 super-premium Cape Bordeaux blends from Stellenbosch, this wine thrills, seduces the senses and certainly impresses for the vintage. Drink from release or cellar for 10 to 15 years.

2017 Lady May, Glenelly – 97-98 pts
If the 2015 Lady May blockbuster resembles a powerful, dense, Pauillac-styled Cabernet Sauvignon led red blend, then the 2017 is pretty much the antithesis, boasting the most elegant, silky, seamlessly harmonious texture combined with an attractively fragrant, Margaux-esque delicacy and graceful precision. While super youthful, the wine inevitably displays some of the lush, alluring and reassuringly expensive new oak creaminess, boasting layers of warm buttered brown toast smothered in black currant preserve, fresh espresso, hints of mocha dust and delicate vanilla pod spice notes. But probably the most pleasing element about this wine is the way winemaker Luke O’Cuinneagain has absolutely captured the truest essence of the 2017 vintage with its extreme purity, weightless fruit concentration that dances across the palate together with a focused, piercing intensity on the long, luxurious finish. This is class personified and I for one am completely smitten. Drink on release and over 25+ years.

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