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Arzuaga Ribera del Duero Crianza 95% Tempranillo and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Dark cherry color with purple highlights. Powerful nose and high aromatic diversity of ripe red and black fruits, spicy and balsamic notes, and a roasted finish. Soft and mellow in the mouth with a great fruitiness and length.
G.D. Vajra Bricco Delle Viole Barolo is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
The Barolo Bricco delle Viole shows the signature verticality of its vineyard. The wine is beautifully layered and - while restrained as it’s always the case in the youth of Bricco delle Viole - it also shows a complexity of layers with purple flowers, sweet spices and mineral tones. The palate is noble, with a refined acid spine and profound tannins that promise a long aging potential.
Among the historical vineyards of Barolo, Bricco delle Viole is the highest and the closest to the Alps. It rises from 400 to 480 meters above sea level, on the Western ridge of the village. Its name, “Hill of Violets”, originates from the flowers that blossom early here due to the perfect south exposure. Up above the fogs, Bricco delle Viole enjoys the earliest sunrise and the last sunset every day. Thanks to its vines dating back to 1949 and -now- 1931, a dramatic diuturnal temperature range and this pure light, Bricco delle Viole generates a sophisticated and profound Barolo DOCG of bright aromatics, chiseled tannins and subtle minerality. 2018 is a vintage that shows many nuances of Bricco delle Viole: beyond the signature verticality of this site, the wine offers high tones laced with mineral nuances and plenty of energy and youth.
A juicy Barolo, with vibrant acidity and a fluid profile that exudes cherry, raspberry, mown hay, mineral and eucalyptus aromas and flavors. Tight yet long, with excellent potential.
#26 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2023
The last wine poured at my tasting at the winery is the G.D. Vajra 2019 Barolo Bricco delle Viole. With its high vantage point in the hills west of Barolo, Bricco delle Viole is a world apart in terms of soils (with Sant'Agata marl and fossils) and even harvest times. Slow and careful ripening like the kind that characterizes fruit in 2019 renders a very delicate and ethereal expression with floral tones, wild mint and licorice. This organic wine is solid in build and structure. Indeed, Isidoro Vaira remarks that Nebbiolo tannins have changed since the 1970s and 1980s.
-Wine Advocate 97+ Points
Jeweled in appearance, the 2019 Barolo Bricco Delle Viole may be the best wine I have tried yet from Vajra. Its gorgeous and alluring perfume of fresh roses is followed by a Burgundian, elegant red with incredible length and no harsh edges, fine and present tannins, and beautiful, graceful concentration. It is drinking well now, and I will be trying to get my hands on as much of this as possible. Drink 2025-2045.
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
Xavier Vignon Lirac Rouge is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah.
Ripe fruit, ranging from raspberries and cherries to hints of stone fruit. Yet, it's not over the top or simply fruity. This full-bodied wine adds hints of leather, garrigue and licorice along the way, evolving from creamy to velvety on the palate and through the lasting finish.
Pairs with lamb Tagine with dry fruits - Duck breast fillet with green pepper sauce - BBQ Prime rib of beef.
"An 80-20 blend of Grenache and Syrah, Vignon's 2019 Lirac is drawn from multiple parcels with galets roulés over clay soils. Roughly one-third went into oak, while the rest stayed in tank. It may be the most complex of the various Vignon "Signature" offerings, marrying hints of garrigue and licorice with mixed berries and hints of oak. It's medium to full-bodied, silky and forward, with the same lip-smacking drinkability factor that marks all of Vignon's wines on the finish. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (September 2020) 92 pts
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
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 Cabernet Sauvignon grows in Keermont's 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 to make a relatively fine grained Cabernet, but the clay soils translate to a wine with power, tension and fresh acidity. They blend in a couple of barrels of other varieties to add to the complexity of flavor and tannin structure.
All grapes used in producing the 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 ‘fynbos’ vegetation. The vineyards are planted on steep mid-slopes high up in the valley between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain ranges. Aspects vary from North East through North to West facing between 250 and 400 meters above sea level.
Dark ruby red in color, this is quite a serious vintage with a complex bouquet of ripe red berry fruit, cedarwood, and typical ‘fynbos’ flowers. The palate is full bodied, but gentle. Tannin structure is full and dense and coats the palate while the natural acidity keeps the ripe fruit in check. Savory notes of tomato paste and cloves add character to the bright red strawberry and cassis flavors which linger into a long, tight finish. Drink 2020 – 2035.
"Something of a crowd pleaser from Alex Starey, this is a comparatively forward cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. Supple, ripe and perfumed, it combines fynbos and dried herb aromas, fig and mulberry flavours, supple tannins and plenty of body and alcohol. 2023-29"
- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2023 Report), 91 pts
Keermont Fleurfontein is made from 100% Sauvignon from Low Road Block.
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 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.
Milsetentayseis 1076 Ribera del Duero Tinto is made with 95% Tempranillo and 5% other native varieties.
TASTING NOTES: A product of its unique landscape, extreme altitude and mineral-rich soil, 1076 Tinto is a bold wine with a distinct character designed to evolve over time. Its freshness and intensely fruity expression are representative of a modern style, moving away from excess, in search of the elegance, smoothness and balance found in the great wines of the world.
TERROIR: A recently restored vineyard situated at over 3,280 feet of altitude where ancestral vines over 100 years old grow harmoniously together with new, indigenous plantings in varied soil comprised of red clay, sand and mineral deposits of quartz, mica, and feldspar.
WINEMAKING: Hand-harvested from a selection of the best plots in the vineyard then separated into concrete, oak or stainless steel fermentation vats depending on the characteristics of the grape and the soil where it was grown. Its production is defined by the team´s constant vigilance throughout the process and their in-depth knowledge of the region, the soil and the native varieties that thrive there.
AGEING: Aged for 18 months in French oak of various sizes and according to the needs of each plot. Bottled in June 2020.
VINTAGE: The 2018 vintage began with abundant rainfall that lasted until late spring. Budding had already begun by the end of April, and as is usual in the Ribera del Duero, mid-May posed great risk of frost. Thankfully, consistent high winds in the area kept it at bay allowing the vineyards to remain unaffected. Spring extended into June with rain and cool temperatures, unusual for this time of year, while summer did not arrive until July bringing with it dry, hot conditions that allowed for the fruit to reach optimal ripeness. The harvest ran from October 5th-October 13th.
Pair with spit-Fire Roasted Suckling Pig.
"Inky violet. Potent aromas of cassis, cherry preserves, incense and potpourri, plus oak spice and mineral topnotes. Alluringly sweet and concentrated, with a spine of smoky minerality supporting intense flavors of dark berry liqueur, bitter chocolate, cola and candied lavender. Youthful, slow-building tannins add shape and grip to an impressively long, juicy finish that echoes the dark berry and floral notes. - Josh Raynolds."
- Vinous (February 2021), 95 pts
"The wine is deep cherry in color exhibiting complex, expressive aromas. Its minerality comes from the soil, the black fruit from the Tempranillo and the spice from a sometime in oak. The combination leads to a full body that finishes with great length.
- Guia Penin, 95 pts
"Very fine-tannined Duero with berry, chocolate and walnut character. Medium body. Solid core of fruit. Linear and very long. Polished and thought-provoking. Drinkable now, but better in 2023."
- James Suckling (November 2021), 94 pts
La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Franc.
The 2019 Cabernet Franc opens with aromas of cassis and graphite when poured in the glass. The firm tannins set the stage on the palate melded with rich flavors of boysenberry and pain de grille with a silky mouthfeel and lingering finish.
Savory in black pepper, smoked meat and cigar box, this wine is high-toned aromatically, with lovely hints of violet and dried herb, sage and bay leaf. Mountain-sturdy tannins give it structure, power and room to age, with lasting acidity to keep it fresh. Enjoy best from 2029–2039.-Wine Enthusiast 95 Points