Lauren Buzzeo of the Wine Spectator gave rave reviews to two Ernie Els Reds from Stellenbosch in the December, 2017 issue:
Ernie Els 2013 Signature Red (Stellenbosch)
93 POINTS – Cellar Selection
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, this is a bold, concentrated and flavorful wine that will mature well over the next 10 years. Aromas of espresso, crème de cassis, spiced blackberry, boysenberry preserves, tobacco and woodspice abound and carry through to the robust, gripping palate. It’s firmly structured, but harmonious in its overall strength, with final notes of campfire, char and cocoa on the long finish.
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Ernie Els 2014 Proprietor’s Red (Stellenbosch)
This blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Shiraz, 5% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec and 5% Petit Verdot opens with aromas of church incense, brambly berry, cherry cola and fruit cake. The palate shows a bit more restraint, offering flavors of small red berries and cherries that are dusted with baking spices. Structured tannins lend ample grip to the medium-weight palate, while moderate acidity lifts the red fruit flavors through the close. Drink now–2021.
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The December 15th edition of the Wine Spectator included three stellar reviews of Anthonij Rupert Wines by James Molesworth:
2012 Anthonij Rupert Cabernet Sauvignon, Franschhoek:
Ripe, sleek and focused, with a beam of red currant and bitter plum preserve flavors racing through, lined with singed cedar and vanilla bean. Extra bay leaf, tobacco and menthol hints emerge through the finish, which has latent grip and solid drive despite the late release. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Drink now through 2021. 230 cases made. 91 Points.
2013 Anthonij Rupert Optima, Western Cape:
Solid, with dark currant and licorice root notes wrapped around each other, backed by tobacco and singed cedar elements. Tar and mint details echo through the pleasantly rustic finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2018. 5,850 cases made. 89 Points.
2016 Anthonij Rupert Chenin Blanc, Western Cape Protea:
Bright Key lime, white peach and kiwifruit stream through, unencumbered by toast and backed by a fresh, floral-edged finish. Drink now through 2018. 5,100 cases made. 88 Points.
James Molesworth of the Wine Spectator continued his December review of South African wines with two reviews of Rust en Vrede:
2015 Rust en Vrede Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch:
Sleek and focused with a delicious beam of red currant and bitter cherry preserves lined with mouthwatering savory and tobacco hints. An iron spine holds the finish and adds length. Drink now through 2021. 3,750 cases made. 91 Points.
2015 Rust en Vrede Merlot, Stellenbosch:
Solid, with focused, moderately juicy raspberry, red currant and cherry preserve flavors lined with black licorice and subtle toast details. Restrained through the finish, but with solid length. Drink now through 2018. 4,100 cases made. 89 Points.
In the May 31st, 2017 edition of the Wine Spectator, James Molesworth reviews two wines from Ernie Els:
2016 Ernie Els Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch Big Easy
Bright, with green almond, lime and melon rind notes, backed by a juicy, unadorned finish. Drink now. 87 Points.
2015 Ernie Els Big Easy Red Western Cape
Solidly built, with singed cedar and vanilla notes providing the frame for a core of lightly steeped red currant and plum fruit. Subtle anise and tobacco details line the finish. More like Cabernet than Syrah, but tasty nonetheless. Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Viognier and Cinsault. Drink now through 2019. 89 Points.
In the May, 2017 issue of Wine & Spirits, Joshua Greene selects Ernie Els’ Big Easy White as a Best Buy!
2016 Ernie Els Big Easy White
Pale scents of lemon curd combine with brisk salinity to lengthen this wine’s flavors and set up a craving for food. It’s a little creamy and blunt in its leesiness –as one panelist suggested, it tastes like it’s fresh from the tank- needing six months in bottle to mellow and meld. 89 Points. Best Buy.
Wine Spectator asked its editors to pick their favorite wines, with an eye to "values for every budget." In the $15 to $30 range, James Molesworth selected the Rust en Vrede Cabernet Sauvignon.
“A standout trio of drink-and-eat wineries begins with the 300-year-old estate, Rust en Vrede, a favorite of Nelson Mandela's."
"Though it’s ambitiously oaked and powerful, with plenty of alcohol to fill out its structure, that structure is fine, the tannins maintaining a fierce integrity, the flavors delicate enough to carry notes of fynbos, delivering the scent of the Cape’s distinctive flower kingdom to the world."