2009 Glenelly "Lady May" Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch South Africa (Elsewhere $55)

SKU #1125466 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Lady May is due later this year. It has an introverted nose at the moment with blackberry, leather, cedar and a touch of mint, all with very fine definition and unfurling with each swirl of the glass. The palate displays very fine tannins, very well integrated oak and a beautiful, pure, caressing finish that really satisfies both in terms of the senses and intellect. This is a succinctly crafted Bordeaux blend that will age with grace. Drink 2014-2020+.

92 points Wine Spectator

 Racy, vibrant and distinctive, with a mouthwatering core of plum, red and black currant and blackberry fruit laced with licorice snap, singed tobacco leaf and charcoal. The long, tangy finish courses along with ample drive. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2016. 250 cases imported. –JM

Jancis Robinson

 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot. Darker than any other red in this line-up! Very appetising and different from most. Brave level of tannins and dryness for South Africa. A strong Bordelais statement. 14.8% alcohol but only 1.1 g/l RS! Bravo. 17/20 points.  (10/2011)

K&L Notes

When the indefatigable May-Elaine de Lencquesaing purchased the 128-hectare Glenelly Estate in 2003, a new chapter opened up for her upon the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain. The following year, 60-hectares or red and 5-hectares of white grape varieties were planted, although it was not until 2009 that the state-of-the-art winery became operational. The first release was a Cape Blend from imported grapes and, to be honest, I remember the quality not being up to standard. However, the appointment of Luke O'Cuinneagain, who had worked at Chateau Angelus, Screaming Eagle and Rustenberg, plus the consultancy of Adi Badenhorst has had an immediate impact, and I was very impressed by these wines. She will be giving her old Deuxieme Cru a run for its money soon (and let's not even think about comparing prices!)

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Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/29/2013 | Send Email
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This is pretty big Cab, not only in fruit and concentration but in structure too. The wine has ample black bramble fruits and rich cedar notes mingling with crushed mint. The mid palate is dense enough to wrap the firm underlying tannins in luscious fruit and give this wine a long drinking window. The charred French oak that comes through on the back end harps back to this wines true Bordeaux lineage. A really well made wine with class and complexity.
Drink from 2012 to 2022

Staff Image By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/26/2013 | Send Email
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A wine with great depth, richness, complexity and can be drunk now! I really like this effort, drinkability, full bodied and still layers of complexity. An outstanding wine from South Africa.
Drink from 2013 to 2023

Staff Image By: Jim Chanteloup | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/26/2013 | Send Email
May-Eliane de Lencquesaing was the owner of Ch. Pichon Lalande for over 30 years and brought her passion and pedigree to South Africa to create the Glenelly label. The grapes were hand harvested with crop levels at about 2 tons per acre and went through natural fermentation. The wine then matured for 2 years in new French oak. The bouquet shows notes of violets , dark cherry, black currant,earth and a hint of pencil lead. On the palate, richer blackberry fruit comes into play with accents of bittersweet chocolate, fine balance and supple refined tannins with a layered long finish.

Additional Information:


Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

South Africa

- Now that it has adopted a multi-racial attitude, and now that the world has embraced its government and its exports, South Africa has become a major wine producer. Unfortunately, South Africa has had a difficult time joining the ranks of competitive winemaking countries. During the anti-apartheid sanctions in the 1980s, South African wine was dealt the huge blow when it was removed from the international market, and for political reasons it was quite difficult for wine producers to market wine to the black majority. Things are finally looking up for the wine industry here, and quality has never been higher. South Africa produces a grape cloned from Pinot Noir and Cinsault, called Pinotage, which is the country's unique varietal. Chenin Blanc (known as Steen) makes up one-third of its vines. Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz are becoming increasingly popular as are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Click for a list of bestselling items from South Africa.