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All the grapes come from their Cottage Lane Vineyard on the mid-slopes of the Helderberg. This vineyard is situated on the crest of a ridge (320m above sea level) so has aspects ranging from East through North to West. It is very exposed resulting in small vines with low yields. This has allowed them to make a relatively fine grained Cabernet, but the clay soils translate to a wine with power, tension and fresh acidity.
Rich crimson red color. The nose is a complex mix of savoury notes: crushed herbs, violets, sandalwood, leather and some lovely bright red fruit. The palate is fine and yet powerful. Lush spicy red fruit is complimented by blueberry and bramble notes. Powerful tight-knit tannin and a very linear acidity afford the wine a long succulent finish. Drink 2017-2030
All grapes used in producing their wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Small parcels of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 22 months maturing in 225 Litre French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration. They produced just 3654 bottles. The wine was bottle matured in the Keermont cellar for a further 18 months before release.
"The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is well defined on the nose, scents of blackberry, mint and touches of fennel all gaining intensity with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with a softer opening than I expected. There’s mainly red fruit at play here, fleshy and generous, with a touch of pepperiness on the finish. Fine, but I think this year it is no better than the Merlot. - Neal Martin"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2021), 90 pts
"The Keermont Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the north-facing, low-yielding Cottage Lane Block and is a serious, somewhat shuttered red with lots of grip, dense damson and blackcurrant fruit, subtle wood and a herbal undertone from 10% Cabernet Franc. 2022-28"
- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2021 Report), 91 pts
The Keermont Estate and Vineyards
Located just beyond Stellenbosch, Keermont Vineyards is nestled in farm land in the beautiful valleys of South Africa. Keermont uses their name to honor the former farm, Keerweder, that once occupied their land. The word “keerweder” means a dead end in a valley. The literal translation is “blocked again”, which is in reference to the early settlers being blocked by the terrain when trying to pass through the valley.
The Keermont winery building and vineyards actually lie in the shadow of Guardian Peak, or “Suurberg”. This location is ideal for Keermont, as the fruit on this mountain is often compared to the grapes of Napa Valley’s famous Howell Mountain AVA.
In 1694, Jan Jac Van Dyk founded the land in the Blaawklippen Valley that is the location of present day Keermont. Other wineries such as Waterford, Dornier, and Stellenzicht are also on the land once owned by Van Dyk. The earliest account of a European landowner utilizing the area for agricultural use are Van Dyk’s records. Afterwards, the potential and beauty of the Blaawklippen Valley attracted many other landowners to the area and the land was divided into individual farms.
Mark and Monica Wraith bought into this land by purchasing the Fleurfontein and Keerweder III farms in 2003. They combined the two farms into the Keermont Vineyards Estate. The couple still live on the Keermont land with their family. Alex Starey is the Keermont winemaker. In 2005, Keermont began a major vineyard planting program and it now holds 27 ha under vine. In 2007, Keermont releases its first vintage, from a crop of only 5 barrels or 108 cases. In 2010, the physical Keermont winery building, complete with offices, processing facilities, barrel rooms, and a tasting room, was converted from the former spring water bottling plant that had once resided on the Fleurfontein farm. The total farm acreage for Keermont Vineyards is 157 hectares or 388 acres, with 27 hectares under vine. 18 hectares produce red varietals such as Cabernet Savignon, Merlot, and Syrah. 9 hectares hold the white varietals like Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Viognier. Keermont also boasts Chenin Blanc vines that are over forty years old and used by De Trafford winery. Keermont aims to create wines that reflect their beautiful land and the particular year’s vintage condition. Keermont focuses on using minimal chemical fertilizers, few pesticides, and irrigate as little as possible. No fining or filtration is practiced on the Keermont Estate. Keermont desires a natural, harmonious vineyard that will in the long run produce better quality wines.
The goal of this estate is to make superior blends. The wines to be produced, but not written in stone, are:
Keermont Red – 40 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 20% Syrah.
Keermont White – 70% Chenin Blanc, 30% Viognier and Chardonnay
Dessert wine in exceptional vintages
Keermont Syrah – Syrah, Mourvedre, Viognier
Some wines from Keermont Winery:
Any Keermont wines we have in stock are listed below, if you don’t see the wine you are looking for please don’t hesitate to ask for it.
Reverdy Jean Sancerre Rouge is mader from 100% Pinot Noir
The wine is spicy and juicy with cherry aromas, and proves the point that power is not necessary for a fine wine.
Decanter 90 Points
Lismore Chardonnay Reserve made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
A careful selection of the best of the vintage that exemplifies the extraordinary terroir of Lismore. This Reserve Chardonnay shows intense citrus, stone fruit, jasmine and walnut layered with honey and vanilla carried by a distinct minerality and crisp acidity with a lingering citrus finish.
Wine Made in the Soil
The vineyards are planted in decomposed shale over clay at 300 meters in the foothills of the Sonderend Mountain Range. A low mean February temperature lends to an extended ripening period that can put harvest 3-4 weeks later than traditional wine growing regions in South Africa. The intense citrus notes and the lingering finish are consistent trademarks of Lismore's specific terroir. The restrained minerality of the Chardonnay is a clear indication of the cool climate in which it is grown.
Wine of Origin "Greyton" has been designated by SAWIS recognizing the special terroir of this region.
Delightful with warm curries which lift the aromatics or a traditional pairing of smoked salmon highlighting the fresh acidity.
The 2018 Estate Reserve Chardonnay is aged for 11 months in 500-liter barrels, 30% new oak. It has a little more amplitude on the nose compared to the 2017 Chardonnay, and its aromas of citrus fruit, wet limestone and orange zest unfold gently. The palate is very well balanced with a fine line of acidity that cuts through the intense orange zest, apricot and white peach fruit. This is taut and wonderfully focused with just the right amount of salinity on the finish. Outstanding.
-- Neal Martin Vinous 95 Points
It is hard to imagine with the Lithology range receiving 298 points out of 300 for the three single-vineyard wines, that there could possibly be a wine above them. But there is, and it is our Estate wine. Blended several times very intently by masters of their craft Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, this is the ultimate expression of our house’s work. Positive, full-bodied, and quite powerful, there’s the expected crème de cassis and blackberry from St. Helena Cabernets, with mineral, herb, subtle tobacco and vanilla, plum skins, and pie crust, purple flowers, forest-conifer notes, and very fine tannic structure. It is a magnificent, and magnificently elegant expression of this house, and when asked recently, Monsieur Rolland stated plainly to me, “oh yes indeed – this is the best one, the best yet…”
The flagship 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Alejandro Bulgheroni comes from a selection made by winemakers Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, mostly from Rutherford and Oakville fruit. Aged 20 months in 78% new French oak, it has incredible aromatics of black and blue fruits, spring flowers, and graphite to go with a massive, full-bodied, concentrated style on the palate that somehow stays graceful, weightless, and elegant. This tour de force in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is guaranteed to put a smile on your face over the coming 20-25+ years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points
Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 99% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc.
Here the Cabernet comes to us typically flawless, and the wines are as such. There is blue fruit, blueberries, black plums, blackberries, and cassis to the aromas, as well as stones, mineral, chocolate, fresh tobacco, and subtle herbs. It is incredibly full-bodied, but at the same time effortlessly drinkable, with ultra-smooth tannins and a positive, long, upturned finish. 70-75% new French oak is the norm for us with Dr. Crane, and those flavors are absorbed to become a vanillin complexity, sweetness, and length. An unbelievable wine.
Possibly the wine of the vintage, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Lithology Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard is another incredible wine from this estate that has everything: stunning complexity, full-bodied richness, flawless balance, and incredible length. Revealing a dense purple color as well as Graves-like notes of blackcurrants, cold fireplace, graphite, chocolate, and smoked tobacco, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, flawless balance, and ultra-fine tannins. Based on 99% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc that was brought up 20 months in 70% new French oak, this thrilling 2018 offers pleasure today yet will evolve for 30-40+ years. Hats off to the team at Alejandro Bulgheroni!
-Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points
Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Beckstoffer Las Piedras Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
From a St. Helena vineyard planted by early Napa settler Edward Bale more than 150 years ago, and later serving as the estate vineyard for the area’s first winery built by Henry Pellet in 1860, the Las Piedras site always gives us our prettiest wine. When placed next to Dr. Crane and To-Kalon wines, the Las Piedras show a certain elegance, with a very graceful entry and finely detailed complexity. We produce it with at least 75% new French oak, so there is a floral, spicy, and vanilla accent to the intense red and black fruits, cassis, and black cherry liqueur. What distinguishes this bottling is the beautifully fine tannins, delicate texture, and stunning purity. (Less than 100 cases made.)
Fermentation 70% Oak, 24% Concrete, 6% Puncheon
"The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Lithology Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard comes from a world-class site outside of St. Helena and is all Cabernet that spent 20 months in 80% new oak. It offers a touch more red fruit as well ample cassis, spring flowers, loamy earth, and spice-like aromas and flavors. It has a wonderful sense of minerality, ultra-fine tannins, a dense, layered texture, and incredibly purity of fruit. It’s another just about off the charts release from this estate."
- Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points
Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate Lithology is a series of single vineyard and AVA-designated wines made from select sites within Napa Valley. Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is produced solely from fruit grown in the historic Beckstoffer to Kalon Vineyard planted in 1865 by W.H. Crabb and represents Oakville's famous bench land.
Pure perfection, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is a nuclear fruit bomb of a wine, offering massive richness and depth while being as graceful as a ballerina, with no sensation of weight or heaviness. Classic To Kalon crème de cassis, black raspberries, flowery incense, spice, and tobacco notes all define the bouquet, and it’s full-bodied, with a layered, multi-dimensional texture, ultra-fine tannins, and a great finish. It has another 2-3 decades of prime drinking ahead of it. This cuvée is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from four blocks in To Kalon, aged 20 months in 82% new French oak.
-Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points
Anakota Wines Helena Dakota Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Helena Dakota is defined by its power, structure and sophistication. It is an intricate Cabernet Sauvignon that reflects both the terroir of the site and the influence of the surrounding Knights Valley AVA. It possesses layers of plums, anise, cassis, leather, bay leaf and cedar. Galvanized by a streak of minerals and bold tannins. Helena Dakota is a solidly-built wine that stands the test of time.
This sloping, 12-acre vineyard runs southwest to northeast at roughly 750 feet above sea level. It features soft, reddish brown, gravelly, silt loam soils speckled with rocks. Prevailing westerly winds blow over a large pond and continue uphill parallel to the rows of vines. These cooling breezes slow the ripening process creating wines that are both powerful and balanced with red fruit flavors, notable minerality and graceful tannins. Pierre says the Cabernet from Helena Dakota remind him of Pauillac or Saint-Estèphe.
Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Dakota Vineyard was aged for 12 months in 100% new French oak. Deep garnet-purple in color, it has a profound yet slightly broody nose to begin, slowly unfurling to reveal wonderfully fragrant notes of wild blueberries, black cherries, dark chocolate and warm cassis, followed by nuances of garrigue, violets, tar and licorice plus a touch of wet stones. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has gorgeous velvety tannins and finely knit freshness supporting generous black and blue fruits, finishing very long and achingly fragrant. Wow. 1,000 cases were made.
-Wine Advocate 99 Points
Avennia Sestina Red Blend is made from 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc
The Sestina is a poetic form from Medieval France. Just as a contemporary poet can use an old form like the Sestina to express modern ideas, we use the traditional Bordeaux blend to make modern wines that express Washington fruit. Sestina is our vision for an old vine blend where the focus is on structure, balance, and complexity. This wine is designed for the cellar, but is enjoyable now.
Sestina: This wine is a blockbuster, with black currant, black raspberry, saddle leather, freshly tilled earth, vanilla, and violet on the nose. Exceedingly rich and balanced on the palate, with great poise and structure for long aging. The finish echoes with fresh black fruits, minerally touches, and floral notes.
A blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Sestina comes from the Red Willow, Dionysus, and Bacchus vineyards and spent 20 months in 48% new French oak barrels. A beautiful, Saint-Julien-like bouquet of blackcurrants, cassis, violets, tobacco, and cedar gives way to a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, structured wine that builds incrementally on the palate, with ripe, velvety tannins, a stunning mid-palate, and a blockbuster of a finish. It's beautifully done, and while it drinks well today given its balance, purity, and texture, it's going to develop additional complexity with 3-5 years of bottle age and will have 20-25 years of overall longevity.
Jeb Dunnuck 96+ Points
The winter preceding the 2011 harvest was wetter and colder than the 30-year average. Budburst occurred as usual around 19th March and warm weather and rainfall in April produced vigorous growth. At the beginning of May dry conditions set in and there was little rainfall in eastern areas of the Douro Valley until late August. However the vines were able to draw from the plentiful ground water reserves built up early in the year and bunches developed and ripened in ideal conditions. Véraison (coloring of the grapes) occurred a little earlier than usual on 15th June.
Mild weather in June and July was broken only by a heat wave in the second half of June. August was hot and dry, with perfectly timed rainfall on 21st August and 1st September rounding off an excellent ripening season and producing a well-balanced crop. Picking started in mid September in the Cima Corgo area of the Douro Valley. Fermentations were long, allowing balanced and complete extraction, and musts displayed intense color and powerful fruit character from the outset.
Deep inky purple color. Intricate nose with aromas of blackberries and logan berries, subtle hints of amber and spring blossom and delicate spice. A tight, well-formed palate with an abundance of dark berry fruit, rich chocolate and liquorice, culminating in a long finish. Firm, closely woven tannins that give the wine great structure and body. An elegant finely constituted Vintage Port which will drink beautifully now or age quietly in the cellar.
Caymus has a signature style that is dark in color, with rich fruit and ripe, velvety tannins – as approachable in youth as in maturity. We farm Cabernet grapes in eight of Napa’s 16 sub-appellations, with diversification enabling us to make the best possible wine in a given year. This Cabernet offers layered, lush aromas and flavors, including cocoa, cassis and ripe dark berries.