Louis Strydom

After graduating from Elsenburg College in Stellenbosch, Louis Strydom joined the team at Saxenburg Wine Estate. During his time there, he worked through several vintages in both Switzerland and France, with extensive travels to the wine regions of Italy, Germany and the USA.

In 1998, Louis joined Rust en Vrede Wine Estate. His focus was on consistency in every sense of the word. His skill in winemaking quickly drew the attention of those in the industry and he began to receive awards for his wines. Wine Spectator awarded Louis’ Red Blend (Rust en Vrede Estate Wine) with a Top 100 listing for four consecutive years and the same wine has received a 4 and 5 star award in John Platter on many occasions since then.

In December 2004, Louis left Rust en Vrede to pay more attention to the Bordeaux blend wine called Ernie Els. With two 93/100 ratings in Wine Spectator for its first two vintages, as well as being the first South African red wine to reach such a high score, the Ernie Els Red was also awarded a 4 and 5 star rating consecutively. The 2004 Ernie Els Wine received another 5 Star rating in the 2007 Platter Guide, which was the only Red Blend to achieve this rating at the time.

In 2009, Louis received a Gold award in the International Wine Challenge for his Cabernet Sauvignon Lapa 2007 that he made during his time at Guardian Peak.

Through his hands-on approach, Louis’ blended red wines are unique in every sense of the word. His complete dedication and focus on producing premium wines is evident in the quality of wines he produces. Last year, Ernie Els Wines was very proud to receive a 5 star Platter award, as well as a Top Red Blend of the Year award for the Proprietor’s Blend 2016.

Educating others within the wine industry is part of who Louis is and he is always willing and eager to share his knowledge in order to help others grow. Due to this quality of his, as well as his incredible winemaking skills, he was invited to join the Cape Winemakers Guild where he served as the Chairperson for a number of years and is currently the Chairman of the CWG Development Trust. As a result of his involvement in the CWG, Louis also takes on a protégé each year where he assists in their education and training to become winemakers themselves. He is also a Trustee of Wine Training South Africa and a Director of Vititec.

Louis enjoys spending time with his family and shows compassion to others. He is down to earth, easy-going and positive. His passion and drive to succeed is evident in the consistently good quality of wines that he produces. His enthusiasm for the wine industry is evident whenever you speak to him and he continues to pass down his knowledge of wine to others.

Ernie Els Wines

PO Box 7595 Stellenbosch 7599

Main profile

Auction Wines

Ernie Els Wines CWG 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Shiraz, 10% Cinsault
Wine of Origin Stellenbosch

Two lots - each lot comprising 6 bottles (6 x 750ml) of each of the following vintages of Ernie Els CWG: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

In the making of these wines, the grapes are hand-picked in the cool of early morning, gently destalked with a Bucher de-stalker and lightly crushed. Fermentation in small 300 litre open top oak barrels with WE 372 yeast. The fermenting grapes are punched down manually 5 times a day for maximum colour extraction. After fermentation, maceration for 14 days before pressing. Each variety is separately vinified and blended after the 18 months of maturation.

Ernie Els CWG 2011 (1 x 750ml bottle)
Alc: 14.5     RS 3.3     TA 5.8     pH 3.72
(previously sold on the 2013 CWG Auction)

Ernie Els CWG 2012 (1 x 750ml bottle)
Alc: 14.5     RS 2.4     TA 5.9     pH 3.63
(previously sold on the 2014 CWG Auction)

Ernie Els CWG 2013 (1 x 750ml bottle)
Alc: 14.5     RS 3.0     TA 5.6     pH 3.64
(previously sold on the 2015 CWG Auction)

Ernie Els CWG 2014 (1 x 750ml bottle)
Alc: 14.5      RS 3.0    TA 6.0     pH 3.83
(previously sold on the 2016 CWG Auction)

Ernie Els CWG 2015 (1 x 750ml bottle)
Alc: 14.5     RS 3.14     TA 6.07     pH 3.74
(previously sold on the 2017 CWG Auction)

Ernie Els CWG 2016 (1 x 750ml bottle)
Alc: 14.98     RS 3.1 T    A 6.2     pH 3.65
(previously sold on the 2019 CWG Auction)

Drink now or within the next 5 to 10 years.

This wine has been stored in the CWG’s temperature and humidity-controlled Vinotheque since the year of Auction.

These wines are packed in a wooden box. 

Auction Year: 2020

Ernie Els CWG 2017

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Shiraz, 10% Cinsault

Wine of Origin Stellenbosch

The grapes were hand-picked in the cool of early morning. Grape bunches were gently destalked and lightly crushed. On the sorting table, all excess stalks and rotten berries were carefully removed by hand. Fermentation took place in small 300 litre open top oak barrels with three weeks extended maturation. The wines were punched down manually five times per day ensuring maximum colour extraction from the skins. Each variety was separately vinified and blended after 18 months of maturation.

Offering you the best of the Helderberg - the cornerstone of Ernie Els Wines and the Louis Strydom vision.

Tasting Notes: Mouth-filling density, that covers every taste bud. Undeniably powerful and one for long ageing with balancing freshness. Towering, big and full-bodied with great fruit purity and refined oak integration.

Ready for drinking in 2030.

Auction Year: 2020

Ernie Els Wines Ernie Els CWG 2008

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Shiraz, 10% Merlot
Wine of Origin Stellenbosch

Two lots – each lot comprising 6 bottles (6 x 750ml) of Ernie Els CWG 2008

‘A decade of excellence’ This wine previously featured at the CWG Auction back in 2010, so I thought it fitting to reach deep into our cellar and offer this wine now, precisely a decade later. It was a special moment, sampling this ’08 a few weeks ago within the brand-new walls of the Ernie Els Wines cellar. It is exciting to see how this wine, and the winery as a whole, has developed over the last decade.

Tasting Notes: A big wine with a bold finish. Notes of sweet red fruit and ribena. Soft tannins with good structure, depth and length. Very primary. Good weight, concentration and elegance.

Ready for drinking now - 5 years.

Blind tasted by CWG expert panels in July 2020 and selected for the Vinotheque Auction.

This wine was previously sold on the 2010 CWG Auction.

This wine has been supplied by the winemaker, stored in their cellar since the year of Auction.

This wine is packed in a wooden box.

Alc: 15.27      RS 3.1      TA 6.1      pH 3.7

Auction Year: 2020

Ernie Els CWG 2016

The grapes were hand-picked in the cool of early morning and the grape bunches were gently destalked and lightly crushed. On the sorting table, all excess stalks and rotten berries were carefully removed by hand. Fermentation took place in small 300 litre open top oak barrels with three weeks’ extended maturation. The wines were punched down manually five times a day, ensuring maximum colour extraction from the skins. Each variety was separately vinified and blended after 18 months of maturation.

Tasting Notes: Immediately impactful. Complex, with an array of fruit, oak and savoury aromas. Black cherry, red currant, crushed stone, tilled earth and toasty oak, all underscored by refined tannins.

Auction Year: 2019

Ernie Els CWG 2015

The grapes were hand-picked in the cool of early morning. Grape bunches were gently destalked and lightly crushed. On the sorting table, all excess stalks and rotten berries were carefully removed by hand. Fermentation took place in small 300 litre open top oak barrels with three weeks extended maturation. The wines were punched down manually five times per day ensuring maximum colour extraction from the skins. Each variety was separately vinified and blended after 18 months of maturation.

Auction Year: 2018

Ernie Els CWG 2015

The grapes were hand-picked in the cool of early morning. Grape bunches were gently
destalked and lightly crushed. On the sorting table, all excess stalks and rotten berries were carefully removed by hand. Fermentation took place in small 300 litre open top oak barrels with three weeks extended maturation. The wines were punched down manually five times per day, ensuring maximum colour extraction from the skins. Each variety was separately vinified and blended after 18 months of maturation.

Auction Year: 2017

Ernie Els CWG 2014

The grapes were hand-picked in the cool of early morning. Grape bunches were gently
destalked and lightly crushed. On the sorting table, all excess stalks and rotten berries
were carefully removed by hand. Fermentation took place in small 300 litre open top oak
barrels with three weeks’ extended maturation. The wines were punched down manually
five times per day ensuring maximum colour extraction from the skins. Each variety was
separately vinified and blended after 18 months of maturation.

Auction Year: 2016

Ernie Els CWG 2013

The grapes were hand-picked in the cool of early morning. Grape bunches were gently
destalked and lightly crushed. On the sorting table, all excess stalks and rotten berries were
carefully removed by hand. Fermentation took place in small 300 litre open top oak barrels
with yeast WE 372 being added to the juice. The wines were punched down manually 5
times a day ensuring maximum colour extraction from the skins. Each variety was separately
vinified and blended after 18 months of maturation.

Auction Year: 2015

Ernie Els CWG 2012

The grapes were hand-picked in the cool of early morning. Grape bunches were gently destalked and lightly crushed. On the sorting table, all excess stalks and rotten berries were carefully removed by hand. Fermentation took place in small 300 litre open top oak barrels with yeast WE 372 being added to the juice. The wines were punched down manually 5 times per day ensuring maximum colour extraction from the skins. Each variety was separately vinified and blended after 18 months of maturation. Tasting Notes: The nose abounds with dark-blue fruits, a hint of bacon and espresso. Classy oak notes and a touch of truffle further tussle with the amazing fruit purity. The palate shows beguiling inky-black cassis from the Cabernet Sauvignon, providing fleshy tannins and towering structure. The large Shiraz component adds a spicy complexity and exotic edge, whilst the sprinkle of Merlot gives finesse and depth. This wine is packed in wooden boxes.

Auction Year: 2014

Ernie Els CWG 2011

The grapes were hand-picked in the cool early morning, gently destalked with a Bucher de-stalker and lightly crushed. On the sorting table, excess stalks and rotten berries were removed by hand. Fermentation took place in small, 300 litre open top oak barrels with WE 372 yeast. The fermenting grapes were punched down manually 5 times a day for maximum colour extraction. After fermentation, maceration was 14 days before pressing. Each variety was separately vinified and blended after the 18 months of maturation. Tasting Notes: The 2011 dances in the glass with a bright purple-sheen and dense crimson body. Further complexity of graphite, salami and bacon notes balance an intense floral lift, whilst whiffs of mint and chocolate drift through to a supple, layered palate. A lacy, sweet- fruited, cassis-cocktail stuns the palate, wrapped up with rich, etched tannins on the finish.

Auction Year: 2013

Ernie Els CWG 2010

The grapes were hand-picked in the cool of early morning. Grape bunches were gently de-stalked with a Bucher de-stalker and lightly crushed. On the sorting table, all excess stalks and rotten berries were removed carefully by hand. Fermentation took place in small 300 litre open top, oak barrels with yeast WE 372 being added to the juice. The wines were punched-down manually 5 times per day ensuring maximum colour extraction from the skins. After primary fermentation the maceration period was 14 days before pressing. Each variety was separately vinified and blended after the 18 months of maturation. Tasting Notes: Complexity of graphite, salami and bacon notes balance anintense floral lift, whilst whiffs of mint and chocolate finally drift slowly through to a supple, layered palate. A lacy, cassis-cocktail stuns the palate all wrapped up with rich but etched tannins.

Auction Year: 2012

Ernie Els CWG 2009

Cabernet Sauvignon 60%, Shiraz 30%, Merlot 10% The grapes were hand-picked in the cool of early morning. Grape bunches were gently destalked with a Bucher de-stalker and lightly crushed. On the sorting table, all excess stalks and rotten berries were removed carefully by hand. Fermentation took place in 7-ton, open top stainless steel tanks with yeast WE 372 being added to the juice. The wines were pumped over and punched down manually 5 times per day, ensuring maximum colour extraction from the skins. After primary fermentation, the maceration period was 14 days before pressing. Each variety was separately vinified and blended after 18 months of maturation. Tasting note: The nose is finely tuned cassis, a touch of earth, graphite and meat spice. The silky structure is built like a sky-scraper, towering over a full-bodied, deeply textured palate. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot produce a classic feel, with 30% Shiraz adding a spicy, savoury complexity. The finish is extremely fine and elegant. Relish opening in 5 to 10 years to expose its full potential.

Auction Year: 2011

Ernie Els CWG 2008

The different clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot, were vinified seperately in open stainless steel fermenters. The combination of punch down and pump overs ensure maximum extraction of grape flavour and tannins. The wine was matured for 18 months in 300 liter oak barrels. 60% of the barrels were new, 40% second and third fill barrels. Tasting note: Appearance: Crimson red with a bright rim. Aroma: The wine has prominent Cabernet Sauvignon characteristics of sandalwood, leather and tobacco aromas. These are supported by hints of spice from the Shiraz and a strong blackberry core. Full, juicy red fruits and floral aromas complete the bouquet. The Ernie Els CWG 2008 has a medium palate weight with tight tannins that will integrate over the next few years, with a rich mineral finish. Impression: ?An accessible wine with a rich oak component that will benefit from further maturation, reaching its peak after 10 - 15 years?

Auction Year: 2010

Engelbrecht Els CWG 2007

VINIFICATION & STYLE The different clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot were vinified separately in open stainless steel fermenters. The combination of punch downs and pump overs ensure maximum extraction of grape flavour and tannins. The wine was matured for 18 months in 300 litre oak barrels. 80 % of the barrels were new; 80% were French oak and 20% were American white oak. TASTING NOTES Appearance: Crimson red with a bright rim. Aroma: The wine has prominent Cabernet Sauvignon characteristics of sandalwood, leather and tobacco aromas. These are supported by hints of spice from the Shiraz and a strong blackberry core. Full, juicy red fruits and floral aromas complete the bouquet. Palate: The Engelbrecht Els CWG 2007 has a full palate weight with tannins that are showing good integration and length. The initial mineral impression is followed by juicy plum and black cherry flavours and concludes with a smoky coffee aftertaste. Impression: A wine with a rich oak component that will benefit from further maturation, reaching its peak after 8 - 10 years.

Auction Year: 2009

Engelbrecht Els CWG 2006

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Shiraz, 10% Merlot The concept is to produce a wine made up of three different varieties that reflect the unique diversity of the Stellenbosch terroir. The different cultivars each lend their individuality to the blend - Cabernet Sauvignon gives structure and aging potential; Shiraz adds spice and palate weight and Merlot allows for integration. Tasting note: Bright deep ruby. Bouquet: the complex aroma of this delicious wine is dominated by the red berry flavours and supported by some cedar, vanilla spice from the barrels. The cumin spice, almond and candy floss complement the aroma of the wine. Palate: the aroma of red berries and plum follows through onto the palate. Dark chocolate, mocha and fruit cake fruit flavours enchant the mid-palate, complemented by a spicy oak finish. The elegant tannin structure ensures a juicy mouthfeel.

Auction Year: 2008

Engelbrecht Els CWG 2005

The concept is to produce a wine made up of three different varieties that reflect the unique diversity of the Stellenbosch terroir. The different cultivars each lend their individuality to the blend - Cabernet Sauvignon gives structure and aging potential; Shiraz adds spice and palate weight and Merlot allows for integration. Tasting Note Appearance: bright deep ruby. Bouquet: the complex aroma of this delicious wine is dominated by the red berry flavours and supported by some cedar, vanilla spice from the barrels. The cumin spice, almond and candy floss complement the aroma of the wine. Palate: the aroma of red berries and plum follows through onto the palate. Dark chocolate, mocha and fruit cake fruit flavours enchant the mid-palate, complemented by a spicy oak finish. The elegant tannin structure ensures a juicy mouth feel.

Auction Year: 2007

Engelbrecht Els CWG 2004

The concept is to produce a wine made up of three different varieties that reflect the unique diversity of the Stellenbosch terroir. The different cultivars each lend their individuality to the blend - Cabernet Sauvignon gives structure and aging potential; Shiraz adds spice and palate weight and Merlot allows for integration. Tasting Note: Appearance: bright deep ruby. Bouquet: the complex aroma of this delicious wine is dominated by the red berry flavours and supported by some cedar, vanilla spice from the barrels. The cumin spice, almond and candy floss complement the aroma of the wine. Palate: the aroma of red berries and plum follows through onto the palate. Dark chocolate, mocha and fruit cake fruit flavours enchant the mid-palate, complemented by a spicy oak finish. The elegant tannin structure ensures a juicy mouth feel.

Auction Year: 2006