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Delicious now but without doubt a keeper.

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Major Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Ernie Els

Named in recognition of Ernie Els' golfing achievements, Major Series also reflects the premium nature of the wines from this South African estate.

Red berry fruits with classic cigar notes over crushed dried herbs, black cherry and ripe plums with red cherry freshness. The nose is inviting and fresh with a vibrant youthful energy of bouncy red fruit and an earthy undertow. The tannins are still tight, medium bodied and fresh, expressing the crystalline character of the 2017 vintage. As the wine evolves in the glass there is an attractive tension between red and black fruit with a hint of liquorice over a linear focused and dry finish. A blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot.

Technical analysis

ALCOHOL

14.0 %

RESIDUAL SUGAR

3.2 g/L

pH

3.63

ACIDITY

5.9 g/L

ORIGIN

South Africa

WINEMAKER

Louis Strydom

VARIETY

Cabernet Sauvignon

FINED USING

Egg white

TIME IN OAK

17 months

MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

Yes

CLOSURE

Cork

BOTTLE SIZE

75cl

REGION

Stellenbosch

VEGETARIAN

Yes

VEGAN

No

Vintage conditions

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, while spring quickly passed straight into warmer summer days. Bud burst was good due to sufficient soil moisture, but with the warmer spring/summer weather the soil started losing moisture quickly, resulting in naturally reduced shoot growth. The vineyard then focused its energy on developing and ripening the small bunches, with smaller berries leading to more concentrated colour and flavour. The dry conditions also meant that both the vineyards and grapes were very healthy. With moderate, but warm days during December and January the start of harvest returned to its normal date. The uninterrupted warmth during harvest also helped the bunches reach optimal ripeness while the berries steadily developed flavours over a slightly longer period of time.

Vinification details

Different hand-picked bunches of the various Cabernet Sauvignon clones, as planted on the estate, arrived at the winery, with great care taken to ensure that clones from various block were kept separate. The bunches were sorted, destemmed and berries sorted again via an optical sorter. The whole berries were then fermented in open top tanks – premium selection grapes from selected parcels within the various clonal blocks were fermented in smaller open fermenters. Intermittent pump-overs and punch downs ensured that right flavours, aromas and tannins were extracted from the berries. All ferments were meticulously monitored during fermentation to ensure the right balance between flavours and tannins were achieved. After primary fermentation some tanks underwent extended maceration if required. Each clonal batch of Cabernet was maturated separately (micro-vinified) in oak barrels before blending.

Awards

Veritas: Double Gold
Platter: 4.5*
Tim Atkin MW: 91 pts
Decanter: 95 pts

Green credentials

Accredited Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) estate.

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