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
Keermont Merlot is made from 100 percent Merlot.
The Keermont Merlot is crimson to strawberry red in color. The nose opens with aromas of sweet cherries, but evolves into savory clove and forest floor notes. On the palate, the wine has a soft and subtle entry. The tannin structure is dusty and firm, but not overpowering. A fresh line of natural acidity holds the wine together from the initial flavors of red berries and herbal tomato paste through to a dry spicy finish.
Aged 22 months in French Oak Barrels.
All grapes used in producing our wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Most of the vineyard parcels grow on deep red clay rich soil derived from sandstone and granite and are surrounded by indigenous vegetation. They lie between 250 and 400 meters above sea level in the valley between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain ranges and have a variety of aspects from North East to West facing.
Pair with red meat, pasta and pizza.
"The 2018 Merlot has an almost understated nose at first, opening with raspberry coulis and blueberry scents, then a touch of violet petals. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, a dash of white pepper and an almost Syrah-like finish. This is an excellent Merlot, especially considering how so many succumb to overripeness."
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2021), 90 pts
Keermont Pondokrug Cabernet Franc is made from Cabernet Franc.
The Keermont Single Vineyard Series was created to high light the superb quality and individual character of the wines produced from certain vineyard parcels on the farm. These parcels have been registered as Single Vineyards with the South African Wine Industry Information & Systems NPC (SAWIS) and wines labelled as such may not contain wine made from any other vineyard. The production of each wine is therefore very limited. We do not bottle these wines every year.
This wine has a pink purple hue. Typical herbal aromas are complimented by strawberries and red candy. The palate is intense with bright red fruit flavors complimented by hints of sherbet, red peppers and black currant. The tannin structure is tight and grippy and a strong central acid core gives the wine a long powerful dry finish. Drink 2018-2030.
High up on the west-facing slopes of the Stellenbosch Mountain, this is a 1.81 Hectares (4.5 acres) parcel of Cabernet Franc planted in 2006. At an elevation of 380 meters above sea level and surrounded by mountain "fynbos", this block is exposed to many natural elements resulting in very low yields. The soil on Pondokrug is red granitic loam with a high clay content which sustains the vines during the summer months. These factors allows Keermont to produce an intense wine with unique flavors and a solid tannin structure.
All grapes used in producing our 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 20 months maturing in seasoned French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration.
- Wine Enthusiast (September 2021), 90 pts
Seña is an authentic Chilean blend made from the finest Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot varieties. The Carmenere variety adds an evident Chilean personality to the wine.
COMPOSITION: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Malbec 15% Carmenere, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot WINEMAKER’S NOTES “Of a deep violet red colour, the complexity on the nose conceals its many subtleties, unfolding ﬂoral notes alongside red and black fruits, denoting its distinctive freshness. Several layers are unveiled delivering notes of cedar, tobacco, bitter chocolate and truﬄes. An elegant, tense and yet very attractive wine, it generously oﬀers fresh and juicy fruit that reminds of blueberries, raspberries, some spices and Cuban cigar box notes. Above all, Seña 2018 is a truly captivating wine that accomplishes a unique balance between power and elegance. I believe we are beholding one of the greatest vintages ever crafted in the 25 years of Seña’s history.”
An iconic decision is made from the heart. Following the sign of his intuition, in 1995 Eduardo Chadwick pioneered a joint venture with Robert Mondavi to handcraft a world-class Chilean wine. Chadwick searched alongside Mondavi for four long years before finding the ideal terroir in Chile’s Valle de Aconcagua that spoke to their instincts. Seña is the culmination of their vision – an expression of consummate quality and character.
This is a very thoughtful Seña that shows unique aromas of warm earth, mushrooms and conifer, turning to dark berries and black olives. The palate is more glamorous with ultra-fine tannins that envelop your palate. Shows power and vibrancy at the end. Toned muscles. It’s a very intellectual wine that harkens back to the 2015. Blend of 55% cabernet sauvignon, 18% malbec, 15% carmenere, 7% cabernet franc and 5% merlot. - James Suckling 100 Points
When the founding fathers of the Napa Valley carved out new sub-AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) in the 1980s, Soda Canyon Ranch was not yet on anyone’s map. The vineyard is neighbored to the northwest and west by the winegrowing districts of Stags Leap District and Oak Knoll District, respectively, which were among the early pioneers of California Cabernet Sauvignon to attain global fame. To the northeast and southeast—and further off the beaten path—were Atlas Peak and Coombsville, thought to be the next frontiers for the emerging wine-producing region.
With richness and depth of flavor, the 2018 Timeless Napa Valley is the embodiment of patience and attention to detail. Decades of experience at Soda Canyon Ranch allow winemaker Nate Weis and team to highlight the individual merits of each block. Combining the strongest lots from each resulted in a refined and harmonious bottling.
In 2018, the diurnal shift at Soda Canyon Ranch produced a darker, lusher fruit profile of Cabernet Sauvignon. Simultaneously, the overnight recovery periods resulted in expressive and refined Merlot, giving the wine a pleasant profile of bright, red fruit. With an extended harvest window, the signature, plush density and structure of Petit Verdot is also prevalent in the final blend. Cabernet Franc thrived in 2018 with its predilection for the cooler soils and the climate of blocks 5, 6, 16, 20 and 21—areas we call the Transition Zone and Hardpan Alley. The variety’s floral and tobacco-like aromatics are accentuated, and its more aggressive nature for back-end tannins tamed.
Once blended, the 2018 vintage rested in French oak barrels for 16 months, developing flavors of vanilla and baking spice. Velvety tannins dance across the palate of bright and lingering cassis. With a smooth finish, this is a comforting wine of elegance and depth—a sophisticated expression of the sedate summer.
This is a little old-school and shows lots of dark berry, chocolate and dried fruit. It’s full, dense and layered with fleshly sensibility. Velvety texture.
-James Suckling 93 Points
Keermont Amphitheatre Red is made from 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc, 22% Merlot, 17% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec and 1% Syrah.
Starting with the 2015 vintage, this new cuvée replaces the Keermont Estate Reserve. It is now the winery's flagship red blend. With this blend they aim to bring to life the nuances of both the terroir at Keermont Vineyards and the particularity of each vintage. Venetian red in color, this wine exudes complex aromas of dusty, ripe strawberry complimented by hints of baked pudding, vanilla, and sweet citrus blossom.
"The maiden 2015 Amphitheatre has an intense bouquet of dark cherries, star anise, camphor and wild heather scents, all well defined and expressive. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and fleshy ripe red fruit laced with white pepper and sage, fanning out wonderfully toward the finish. This is a beautiful maiden release, exuding breeding and class, from Alex Starey at Keermont. - Neal Martin"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2021), 95 pts
Keermont Fleurfontein is made from 60% Sauvignon and 40% Chenin Blanc.
An attractive autumn yellow gold color, powerful apple, lime and melons on the nose with light oak and nut aromas, palate defined by a central core of fresh acidity which balances the sweetness and layers of fruit and rich lease. Drink now through 2020.
All grapes used in producing this wine were grown on Keermont Vineyards. Bottling was carried out by hand without filtration, so if you are lucky you may find a little lees in the bottom of your bottle.
The wine is produced by pinching the stems of the grapes while they hang on the vine. This stops the translocation of fluids into and out of the grapes and allows them to slowly dry out on the vine. The raisins are harvested a few weeks later and the syrupy juice is squeezed from them with a hard pressing process. The syrup ferments in barrel and is left to mature for 12 months. Total production was just one barrel yielding 580 bottles.
"The 2018 Fleurfontein has a lovely bouquet of tangerine, marmalade, honeysuckle and almond aromas that display wonderful intensity. The palate is very well balanced with a viscous texture (very Sauternes-like) and a harmonious custard tart and tangerine finish. Gorgeous! - Neal Martin."
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2019), 95 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.
Paradigm Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc
20 months in French oak (only about a third of that is new oak) and for 20 more months in bottle before release
Our winemaking "style" is solely determined by this place or terrior we call "Paradigm." Winemaking is agriculture when you own your vineyards and are able to farm them to promote the very best Earth will give you. All of our selections of wines are made from five varietals on the estate. Every wine is 100% farmed and grown by us.
Complexity in our wines supported by luscious fruit and acidity is our hallmark. Our efforts during harvest and barrel cellaring concentrate on maintaining the freshness from the first day we handpicked each vineyard block. Simple winemaking protocols are employed while crucial “timing” oriented winemaking decisions rule each day.
Dark Cabernet color with beautiful aromas of black cherry, cassis, plus 5-spice, vanilla. Big, ripe and mouthcoating across the palate. The flavors are similar to the aromas with ripe fruit, berry/cherry pie, moderate tannins, and nice length. This wine shows enough structure to be age-worth, yet soft and balanced enough to enjoy upon release. Flavors linger in this tasty, dense wine. Tastes like Oakville. -Heidi Barrett
Mascot is a small-production label founded by Will Harlan in Napa Valley. The wines under this label are made from the younger vines of Harlan Estate, BOND, and Promontory, but The Mascot bottles share an exclusive preview at the development of their estates. Founded as an initial experiment to see what the young vines were capable of producing, the wines were initially only shared with close friends and family. By 2008, Will officially released the first vintage to the public since production had increased significantly. They create just one wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon, and the bottle is aged for five years before release. Assembled into a single, youthful expression, this wine shares a glimpse into the evolution and pedigree of its parent estates.
Following a vintage full of changing conditions and demanding decision points, the steady and pleasant progress of the 2018 vintage left our team, at times, in limbo. Contradictory as it may seem, the dramas that sometimes punctuate the definitive months for the growing season help to frame the winegrowing team’s course of action; yet the tranquil succession of weeks that emerged between spring and fall in 2018 left almost entirely open the question of when to harvest. Healthy rainfall in March and April preceded a benevolent summer, whose mildness was interrupted only briefly by a few warming periods. The fruit of the young vines maintained a measured balance that gave the team little indication that harvest was imminent. Fog and temperate days followed in September, when—relying more on instinct than empirical cues—we began to pick. This judgment—as well as the gentle nature of the season—is confirmed in the subtle, ethereal power of the vintage, which reveals itself first in the deep, brooding aromas of dark fruit, black tea, and herbal notes. The texture expands around a lifted structure, as powdery tannins gently resolve. This diffused, enigmatic softness is anchored on the mid-palate by a gratifying density, which prepares the senses for a flourish of hidden energy and vivid detail that illuminates the finish.