2012 Glenelly "Estate Reserve" Bordeaux Blend Stellenbosch (Elsewhere $26+)

SKU #1396515 91 points James Suckling

 Blackberry compote, pressed violets, mulberries and some eucalyptus. Full body, lots of delicious fruit, firm tannins and a flavorful finish. Drink in 2020.  (6/2018)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Mature, showing a broad, loamy swath of currant and blackberry fruit flavors that have melded with smoldering tobacco and worn leather notes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Petit Verdot and Merlot. Drink now through 2019. (JM)  (12/2018)


 The 2012 Estate Reserve Red is a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Syrah, 11% Petit Verdot and 6% Merlot, matured in around 30% new oak for 18 months. It has an attractive nose of black fruit, given a nice herbal lift by touches of tobacco that come through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with a gentle grip on the entry, thought perhaps just a little 'soft' for my liking, with a conservative, Left Bank-like finish (this despite the contribution of the Syrah). Drink now and over the next six to seven years. (NM)  (8/2018)

K&L Notes

Glenelly was purchased in 2003 by May de Lencquesaing, former owner of the highly respected and world-renowned winery Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in Bordeaux. This wine definitely carries with it the Bordeaux-syle the owner brought with her. Only the highest-end parcels go into this bottling and the addition of Syrah harks back to Bordeaux blends of the 19th century, when it was a common addition in Left Bank wines. Still showing incredibly vibrant and powerful, this is a lovely blend between the two worlds from the iconic winemaking region of Stellenbosch. (Stefanie Juelsgaard, K&L South Africa buyer) 94 points, Tim Atkin MW.

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Price: $19.99

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By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/9/2019 | Send Email
The secret to this South African Cabernet blend is the Shiraz, and other Southern Hemisphere producers know this, too! Those two varietals work magic together. This has the structure and savory aromatics that I love from SA Cabs, but with more texture and depth of fruit. This is a delicious red that offers complexity, texture at a reasonable price. The extra bottle age doesn't hurt as well.

By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/6/2019 | Send Email
This amazing red blend from South Africa is a dead ringer for a left bank Bordeaux but with a twist. Slightly evolved notes of Cabernet Sauvignon ooze from the glass with classic mineral, lead pencil, spice box, and dark red berries. Hints of blueberries come through revealing the heavy addition of Syrah (38%). The longer this wine sat in my glass, the more interesting it became. It’s clearly a wine of excellent pedigree made by a skilled wine-making team. It's medium to full weight, with ripe but firm tannins, and a long intriguing finish. I would highly recommend this wine to Cabernet and Bordeaux enthusiasts. At $19.99 it represents incredible value.

By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/6/2019 | Send Email
The nose is full of barrel spice backed up by earth, tobacco and gravel. On the palate the wine shows a supple weight, very smooth but with a linear axis that gives the wine some length and freshness. The finish is more of the earth and spice but the overall character comes across as smooth and supple

By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
I'm always excited to find wines from producers who venture out beyond their own backyard to across the globe, because it means they are so passionate and believe that wine region to be so good, they will go to great lengths to make wine there. This exquisite bottling is one such example of that, with May de Lencquesaing of Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande fame, leaving behind Bordeaux to explore the growing South African wine industry. She has taken her years of expertise in Bordeaux and has translated that to this powerful and intricate red blend in Stellenbosch. Anytime someone makes the move from one of the most renowned wine regions in the world to invest in a place she finds to be more exciting, I sit up to take notice of what drew this person to their new passion. This bottling is a delicious blend of classic Bordeaux flavors of cedar, black fruits, and leather, with some quintessentially South African flavors of dried herb, tobacco, and blackberry. The addition of Syrah adds nice softness and fruit and provides a needed contrast to the powerful structure and savory characters of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. If one of the leading ladies of the wine industry thought this was a wine worth making, I am certainly excited to get it into as many hands as possible.
Top Value!

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.