Webb Ellis Wine
Back in the 80s, Neil Ellis became the Cape’s first winemaker to make and sell wine under his own name. Pioneering a Burgundian approach in the Cape, he focussed on producing the best wine possible, in rented cellar space, selecting top quality growers to produce his grapes. The newly-launched Webb Ellis wine bridges the way forward, embracing the past, the present and the future. The wine is symbolic of the sharing of knowledge and wisdom from generation to generation, marrying traditional methods with new techniques, and embodying a spirit of innovation, open mindedness and joint respect.
The Webb Ellis wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Jonkershoek Valley and 35% Syrah from Groenekloof in Darling. This wine spent 20 months in French oak barrels: 80% 1st fill, the balance in 2nd and 3rd fill barrels. Only 780 numbered bottles were produced, with 600 bottles available from the cellar and at a few select specialist wine merchants. Retailing at R1000, a fair price for an exceptional wine with so much heart, this wine was born out of a tenacious and passionate vinous journey. A wine of integrity, produced from vulnerable single vineyards, it will only be produced in perfect vintages and the blend will not be cast in stone.
The wine takes its name from the Ellis and Webb families: Neil’s wife Stephanie’s maiden name is Webb. It honours the journey of Neil Ellis Wines from a solo venture to a highly reputed family business. Neil Ellis Wines are celebrating 40 years of winemaking and 30 years of the Neil Ellis wine label. The first vintage was produced in 2015 in their new home, a state-of-the-art cellar, on the Helshoogte Pass in Stellenbosch.
Today the same philosophy remains the mainstay of Neil Ellis Wines: sourcing superior grape-varieties from low-yielding, hand-picked vineyard lots in the Cape’s top sites to produce distinctive, refined wines that express the inimitable attributes of their terrain. Their best wines are still produced from grapes sourced from the same four areas: Jonkershoek, Elgin, Groenekloof and Piekenierskloof. Neil’s extensive journey has confirmed that “it takes 10 years for a winemaker to get to know a vineyard and only then can he really formulate a winemaking philosophy. It takes another 10 years to fine tune that”.
Visit Neil Ellis Wines on the lower slopes of the Helshoogte Pass in Stellenbosch to taste the Webb Ellis wine as well as the Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection and Premium Range wines, both current and older vintages from the vinoteque.
Webb Ellis Tasting Notes
Colour: Deep dense earthy red.
Nose: The aromatics proclaim red and dark fruits with notes of red liquorice and black olives noticeable.
Palate: The palate is seamless, sophisticated and stylish. Combining the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon with the richness of Syrah, the Webb Ellis exemplifies the judicious balance of fruit and oak. Tight, focussed and poised – a multi-dimensional continuum.
Peak drinking: This classically structured, beautifully balanced wine has all the finesse and integrity to develop and evolve with careful cellaring from 2015 – 2025.
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