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Keermont Steepside Syrah 2016

ID No: 448078
Country:South Africa
Region:Stellenbosch
Winery:Keermont Vineyards
Grape Type:Syrah
Organic:Yes
Vintage:2016
Bottle Size:750 ml
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Argot Posted Syrah 2016

No Syrah terroir in Sonoma County compares with Sonoma Mountain’s northwest crown—cool fog-affected mornings, sun-bathed afternoons, cooled by persistent coastal breezes, and temperate evenings. The soils in Steiner’s Syrah blocks — ashy and moondust-like, littered with decomposing sea bed — further contribute to the unique nature of this site. After a 3-vintage hiatus, I am thrilled to be back working with Steiner Vineyard’s Syrah. By its nature, this slow-to-ripen, cool-climate site produces fabulously deep, intense, structured wines. Now, raising a big, brawny Syrah is no rare act of alchemy. It is the wonder of Steiner’s terroir — a magical elegance and beauty, informing the inherent power, depth and intensity — that makes this bottling so special. 2016 produced a classic wine that deftly balances massive flavors and texture, while retaining vital freshness, and a palpable sense of cool. Production was low, so get it while you can. Simply a “WOW” wine, not to be missed.

VINEYARD: Steiner Vineyard. Located at 1,100 ft, on the northwest crown of Sonoma Mountain. CRUSH: Early morning harvest by hand, October 1st, cluster and berry sorted, destemmed and crushed. FERMENT: 5-day cold soaks, followed by 14 day native fermentation in open-top bins. AGING: 20 months, French oak, 100% new, mixture of 300L hogsheads and barrique shapes. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.

Review:

"Refined and stylish, featuring a complex core wrapped in multilayered blackberry and blueberry flavors, laced with bitter chocolate, black licorice and smoky meat notes. Drink now through 2030.- Tim FISH"
- Wine Spectator Insider (January 15th 2020), 93 PTS

 Wine Spectator: 93
Boekenhoutskloof Syrah Swartland 2016

Boekenhoutskloof Syrah Swartland is made from 100 percent Syrah. 

Grapes for our Boekenhoutskloof Syrah are picked from selected parcels of the finest Syrah, grown at our Swartland farms, namely Porseleinberg and Goldmine, close to the small town of Riebeek-Kasteel. These vineyards were planted on the rocky bedrock of decomposed Mica-Schist, a unique terroir, finding its expression in our concentrated and structured wines made from this Rhône grape.

The nose is perfumed, forthcoming and fresh, offering an array of rich dark fruits with a spicy, floral, even feral character, derived from complex aromas of dark berries, plums, violets, black olives, star anise and potting soil. The black fruits and earthy character of the nose follow through onto a dark, brooding palate with flavours of wild berries, brambles, liquorice, tobacco, cloves and black cardamom. The mid-palate is concentrated, deep, dense and slightly dusty, with dry, very fine cocoa-powdery tannins lending structure. The wine is very precise, with a medium to full body, a tight, grainy texture and vibrant acidity to balance. Blackberries, blueberries and notes of garrigue and dark chocolate linger on a savoury finish.

Review:


Using fruit from two exceptional Swartland sources – Goldmine and mostly Porseleinberg – this foudre-aged Syrah is fresh, subtle and intensely aromatic, as schist Syrahs often tend to be. Complex, floral and refined with remarkable freshness and palate length. Drink: 2020-2028.
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 95 Points
Inglenook Rubicon 2016

Inglenook Rubicon  is made from 93% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% Cabernet Franc.

Since its inaugural vintage in 1978, Rubicon has been the Estate's premier red wine, reflecting the soul of the property and expressing Francis Coppola's wish to create a Bordeaux-styled grand wine, that is, "a wine that can please contemporary taste, but with a historical aspect [that defines] our vineyards at their zenith."

Rubicon was named after the small river crossed by Julius Caesar in 49 B.C., declaring his intention to gain control of Rome, thereby launching a civil war among opposing factions. Over time the phrase "crossing the Rubicon" has come to signify any irreversible action with revolutionary intent or the outcome of which holds great risk. True to its uncommon depth, Inglenook's Rubicon continues to be a testament to the finely tuned rendering of a risk well-taken.

2016:

After four years of drought, a winter with average rainfall was welcome, as it provided ample soil moisture for a strong start to the 2016 growing season. Average late-spring temperatures and limited precipitation minimized the risk of frost during mid-May bloom, ensuring average yields. June closed with a heat spell, slowing vine canopy growth at the ideal time. Harvest of the blocks contributing to the 2016 Inglenook Rubicon blend occurred under optimum conditions from September 6th through September 27th.

Ideal harvest conditions endowed the 2016 Rubicon with the three elements associated with a truly great wine from the Rutherford appellation: complexity, balance, and elegance. The aromas are intense and focused with top notes of creamy, sweet vanilla, and black licorice wound around a core of exquisitely ripe black cherry and crème de cassis. This refinement extends directly to the palate, where the wine is both broad and deep with sensuous, silky tannins. Supremely balanced in terms of both opulence and complexity, ripe black fruits and an ultra-smooth texture provide an impressive crescendo to a very long finish.


Review:

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicon is a wine of total precision and class. Translucent and energetic, with distinctly mid-weight structure, the 2016 is a wine of reserve, tension and breeding. Shy at first, the 2016 has a lot to offer, but it needs a number of years in bottle to be at its most expressive. Cedar, tobacco, licorice and wild cherry add the closing nuances.


- Antonio Galloni 97 Points

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 97
Trione Syrah River Road Ranch 2016

The epitome of cool climate Syrah. Intense and inviting, earthy, peaty but with concentrated fruit flavors of plums, blackberries, blueberries and black cherry all mixed together. Savory yet sweet, this wine just lingers on the palate. Paired with a rich lamb stew, smoked meats or your favorite Fall holiday meal, this wine will shine and develop beautifully for the next 5-7 years.


Review:

"This is a full-bodied Pinot, with rose petal and cinnamon peeking out of underbrush. It's savory, rich, and spicy, with an earthy finish."

- The Tasting Panel (March 2021), 93 pts



"A rich, layered pinot with strawberry, meat, cedar and smoke aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied and rich, yet remains focused and bright at the end. Drink or hold."

- James Suckling (December 2020), 93 pts



 93 Points
Keermont Cabernet Sauvignon 2020

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.

Review:

"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





Avennia Justine Red Blend 2016

Avennia Justine Red Blend 56% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah 

Justine reflects our belief that Washington is capable of producing world class blends of grape varieties traditional to the Southern Rhone region of France. The name is inspired by one of the great heroines of recent literature, who also sprung from the imagination of the Mediterranean. Dark, seductive, complex, with a chasm of depth: The Justine is a great reflection of Avennia's mission of expression, and Washington's generous terroir.

 Tasting Note: Big black cherry, blackberry, hints of orange peel, fresh herbs and loam on the nose. Plush and round on the palate. Dark earthy fruits from the Mourvedre, along with citrus high notes, mountain flowers, jasmine, and savory herbs. Balanced and complex without forgetting its hedonistic roots in the Southern Rhone.

Review:

A blend of 56% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah brought up all in older oak, the 2016 Justine offers a great core of black fruits as well as lots of peppery herbs, earth, and classic meatiness. It looks to be a great vintage for this cuvée."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 92-94 pts

 94 Points
Product Description

Keermont Steepside Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.

Planted in 2005 on the steep midslopes of the Helderberg Mountain range, Steepside Syrah sits at an elevation of 300m. Vines grow in rich red clay loam soils with high levels of iron and quartzite originating from the peaks above. The combination of these deep granitic soils and the intensity of the sunshine on the North facing ridge allows the vineyard to produce wines with power and structure, while the spicy herbal aromatics can be attributed to the elevation and the pristine fynbos flora that surround it.

This is an intense wine with a bright scarlet color. Pure grapey aromas are complimented by red spices, herbs and lavender. The palate has a gentle entry with subtle spicy fruit flavors filling the mid palate. The tight structure gives the wine a succulent dry finish with lingering flavors of red fruit, anise, liquorice and a mineral saltiness. 

All grapes used in producing our wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Small parcels of grapes are selected according to optimal ripeness and harvested by hand. The grapes are vinified gently and naturally following traditional techniques.

Pair with game or venison. Although any red meat works well. 

Review:


"This world-class Syrah hails from a 0.7-hectare parcel planted on a ridge in 2005. Made with no stems in 2016 – the wine normally sees 15% whole bunches - it's like a Cape Côte Rôtie, all perfume, nuance and texture, with notes of ginger spice, barbecued meat and some ferrous grip. 2021-28"

- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2020 Report), 95 pts



 

Winery: Keermont Vineyards

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:

  • Keermont Red Blend
  • Keermont Syrah
  • Keermont White Blend Terrasse

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.

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Review:


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