Ernie Els 2003

Hole in one.

After the disappointment of Capaia 2003 (see previous post), I wanted to prove that wines made to have greater weight and substance can succeed, the trick as always being if the winemaker achieves balance, too.

Whatever else you might say about the flagship red from Ernie Els, you’d be hard-pressed to describe it as delicate or ephemeral: the 2003 is a blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot, the majority of the wine spending 20 months in 300-litre French oak, 100% new although the Malbec and Petit Verdot were unoaked.

The wine currently shows red and black fruit plus a touch of tobacco on the nose. There’s great concentration of fruit on the palate, fresh acidity and firm but fine tannins. It’s undoubtedly big and rich but there’s real character here and the wine finishes long and dry. Score: 18/20.

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