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neil ellis

A real groener

Neil Ellis 2007 Sauvignon Blanc (Groenekloof) – Driven and slightly pushed sauvignon, which ramps up the mineral and green components alike. There’s nothing underripe about this wine, which tends more toward apple than herb, and so it can handle the escalation of volume. A very solid wine. (5/10)

Moen & Groen

[vineyard]Neil Ellis 2007 Sauvignon Blanc (Groenekloof) – Vibrant metallic green of a more pine-like hue. There’s grass, capsicum, and nerve, but there’s also a cold, rocky minerality. Not quite as precise as the previous vintage, but still clearly delineated. (5/09)


[vineyard]Neil Ellis 2007 “Sincerely” Sauvignon Blanc (Western Cape) – Slashing, biting, and razoring as sauvignon is occasionally wont to do, but while it edges right up to the precipice of underripeness, it never quite completes that dive, and the result – while tongue-numbingly sharp – is a sort of cheap thrill ride for the palate. Green, most assuredly, but in a good way…though it’s no cocktail sipper, and will require sharply acidic food to tame its wilder impulses. (1/09)

Bosch dishwashers

[vineyard]Neil Ellis 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon (Stellenbosch) – Unmistakably cabernet, with tobacco, bell pepper, cedar, and a lot of militaristic structure. But nothing is overblown or overdone, the oak has almost totally integrated, and there’s a great deal of promise here…though despisers of all that is green probably won’t be impressed. It’s not a generous wine by any means, and the finish continues to dash and dust various forms of pepper, but it’s a very creditable effort, with medium-term aging likely to bring rewards. (4/08)

Goenekloof under the weight

[vineyard]Neil Ellis 2006 Sauvignon Blanc (Groenekloof) – Varietally true, with an extra heft of stark greenness over a firm slate foundation; this wine is sharp, almost razor-like, yet simultaneously elevated and almost airy. It’s definitely not shy. (3/08)