A “triple gold” at Veritas for Neil Ellis cabernets three years in a row

Neil Ellis Wines’ reputation as one of SA’s leading Cabernet Sauvignon producers was re-affirmed at the 2018 Veritas Awards when the Neil Ellis 2015 terrain-specific Jonkershoek Cabernet and the 2015 regional Stellenbosch Cabernet were honoured with Double Gold and Gold Medals respectively for the third consecutive year. These accolades follow a long line of praise for Neil Ellis Cabernet Sauvignon including 15 Veritas Double Gold or Gold Awards since 1999.

The Veritas Awards, South Africa’s premier wine and brandy competition, attracted 1 677 medal contenders this year. An authoritative jury, comprising six international and 100 local specialists, scrutinised candidates for Veritas fame during a marathon five-day blind tasting session. The winners were announced at a black-tie gala dinner at the CTICC in Cape Town attended by some 700 industry and VIP guests.

“The consistent quality we get from Stellenbosch Cabernet was proven once again this year at Veritas”, says an elated Warren Ellis. “Winning one of only three Double Golds for Cabernet, all of which were awarded to Cabernets from Stellenbosch, attests to the excellence of Stellenbosch Cabernet, with the higher elevations and textured soils of the Jonkershoek Valley being ideal”.

Neil Ellis Cabernet is no stranger when it comes to awards for excellence. Neil Ellis Wines’ steadfast focus on sourcing their Cabernet from the best vineyard sites in Stellenbosch continually manifests its merit with a steady stream of prominent awards both locally and internationally.

Tim Atkin’s South African Report

Tim Atkin, internationally renowned wine commentator and British Master of Wine, rated the Neil Ellis 2015 Jonkershoek Cabernet and 2015 Stellenbosch Cabernet 93 points and 91 points respectively in his 2018 South African Report, trailing the respective 93 and 92 point-ratings for the 2014 vintages in his 2017 Report.

Winemag.co.za’s Prescient Cabernet Sauvignon Report

The Stellenbosch wine valley dominated in the 2018 results, with 30 out of the 40 top wines hailing from the historic wine-growing region. An impressive 94-point rating for the Neil Ellis Jonkershoek Cabernet 2015 and 90 points for the Neil Ellis Stellenbosch Cabernet 2014 followed on from their success at the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Report where the Neil Ellis Stellenbosch Cabernet 2014 was awarded joint first place with 92 points and the Neil Ellis Stellenbosch Cabernet 2014 with 90 points.

Winemag.co.za’s 10-Year-Old Wine Awards

In addition, the staying power of Neil Ellis Cabernet was highlighted at Winemag.co.za’s 10-Year-Old Wine Awards in 2018 when the Neil Ellis Stellenbosch Cabernet 2008 received 91 points, as well as at the 2017 Awards where the Neil Ellis Jonkershoek Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 was the top-scoring Cabernet with a 91-point rating.

International Wine Challenge

The Neil Ellis Jonkershoek Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 was honoured with a Gold Medal (95 plus points) at the 2018 International Wine Challenge (IWC) in London – widely regarded as one of the world’s finest and most meticulously judged wine competitions – repeating the success of the previous vintage at the 2017 IWC. 

Decanter World Wine Awards

The Neil Ellis Jonkershoek Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 was also awarded a Gold Medal (95 plus points) at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) the world’s largest and most influential wine competition – mirroring the achievement of the previous vintage at the 2017 Awards.


For more than four decades Neil Ellis has sought out distinct sites where individual varieties excel. His search for the best Cabernet grapes, grown in the best areas where the interaction of soil, topography and climate suit them best, led him to Stellenbosch and the Jonkershoek in particular. The first wine to bear Neil Ellis’s name was a Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet has been an important part of the Neil Ellis Wines journey ever since, establishing an impressive pedigree along the way.

The Neil Ellis Cabernets have garnered widespread acclaim, regularly receiving venerable 90+ ‘outstanding’ ratings from renowned wine critics like Jamie Goode (UK-based wine writer, author and blogger), Greg Sherwood (London based South African MW), US-based wine critic Stephen Tanzer and highly-acclaimed US wine magazines like Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and Wine & Spirits.


A firm belief that Stellenbosch has the extraordinary ability to forge outstanding Cabernet quality, that Cabernet is King, has led to the formation of the Stellenbosch Cabernet Collective (SCC), a collaborative group of 35 members. Through participation and facilitation of key events, locally and internationally, the SCC aims to firmly establish the excellence of Stellenbosch Cabernet on a global platform.

Once such event is the forthcoming Stellenbosch Collective 2017 Vintage Preview where 35 of Stellenbosch’s finest 2017 Cabernet Sauvignons will be on show at an exclusive weekend event. In anticipation of this event, Christian Eedes of Winemag.co.za and the Wine Cellar team, Roland Peens and James Pietersen, were invited to an en-primeur tasting of 25 of the wines in September. The wines were tasted blind and rated according to the 100-point system. The Neil Ellis Jonkershoek Cabernet 2017 was top-scored by the panel and rated 94-96 points.

The dates for the Stellenbosch Collective 2017 Vintage Preview are the 19th and 20th October and the venue is the historic Lanzerac Hotel in Stellenbosch. All 2017 vintages will be available for purchase at pre-release prices and all orders will be collated by the Wine Cellar team. 2017 Cabernet purchases made at the event will be cellared free of charge by Wine Cellar, if required, until optimal release.

For more information visit https://stellenboschcabernet.co.za/vintage-preview/vintage-preview-2017/


  The Neil Ellis limited release terrain specific range of wines demonstrates the distinctiveness of specific vineyard sites and represents the finest quality. This is the signature Cabernet Sauvignon of Neil Ellis Wines with all the hallmarks of the Jonkershoek Valley. Known for its classical structure and perfect balance of elegance and fruit power, it has complex aromas of blue and black small berry fruit with cedar notes and touches of mint. The palate is smooth and plush with a savoury expression, fine but dense tannins and restrained complexity from expertly handled all-new 18-month oak maturation.

The Neil Ellis Jonkershoek Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 is available for purchase at the estate, online at www.neilellis.com, and nationally at leading wine merchants. Recommended retail price: R380 per bottle


  Produced from Jonkershoek Valley fruit and further parcels of grapes sourced from complimentary sites within the Stellenbosch area, this wine spent 18 months in a 25% 1st fill French oak barrel, the balance in 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill barrels. It is deep, dark garnet in colour with a bright ruby edge. Aromas of currants, blackberries and plums follow onto a palate with compelling mouth-filling flavours of cherry and plum with some black pepper spice. This full-bodied wine finishes with soft tannins and a hint of peppery cassis.

The Neil Ellis Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 is available for purchase at the estate, online at www.neilellis.com, and nationally at leading wine merchants. Recommended retail price: R170 per bottle



Neil Ellis Wines have journeyed from a solo venture to a highly-reputed family business with the next generation at the helm. Warren Ellis, who graduated in viticulture and oenology and has a MSc in viticulture, has taken over the reigns as winemaker with great skill, and is ideally equipped to carry forward the legacy of his legendary father. And with Neil playing a mentoring role and helping with strategic decisions, the future of Neil Ellis Wines is poised to go from strength to strength.

Neil Ellis Wines, with a local and international reputation for exceptional elegance and quality, has a stylish home, a state-of-the-art cellar on the lower slopes of the Helshoogte Pass in Stellenbosch, where their first vintage was vinified in 2015

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 10h00 – 16h30; Saturdays and Public Holidays 10h00 – 17h00; Closed on Sundays

Cheese and Charcuterie Platters: R120 to share

Tel: 021 887 0649 · Email: info@neilellis.com · Website: www.neilelllis.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NeilEllisWine

Twitter: twitter.com/NeilEllisWines

Instagram: www.instagram.com/NeilEllisWines