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Keermont Steepside Syrah 2016

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

Try these Similar In Stock Wines
Keermont Steepside Syrah 2015

Keermont Steepside Syrah is made from This is an intense wine with a bright scarlet colour. 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 flavours of red fruit, anise, liquorice and a mineral saltiness. Drink 2020-2030.

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.

 


Review:

"The 2015 Steepside Syrah comes from vines at around 350 meters above sea level, from similar clonal material to the Topside but on deep clay/loam soils, while the vines are oriented to the north. It spent 20 months maturing in seasoned 225- and 500-liter French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration. This has a more fruit-forward bouquet than the Topside, featuring small red cherries, raspberry, briar and light cassis scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannin and crisp acidity, quite compact at the moment and probably deserving around 18 to 24 months in bottle. Good potential here, although the Topside offers the elegance and sophistication this year. - Neal Martin"

- Vinous  (August 29th 2018), 92 pts


"The 2015 Steepside Syrah gives classic notes of blackberry, cassis and plum skin, with a structuring mineral tone reminiscent of dust—almost ashy—and lingers in the glass with hints of black pepper. The palate is dry and focused with a bright, structured core and mineral tension to the mid-palate, finishing with lingering soft, smoky spices. Only 2,571 bottles were made. - Anthony Mueller"

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 92 pts


"If Topside is Alex Starey’s Côte Rôtie, then Steepside is his Cornas, a hotter, north-facing site that produces dense, ferrous, almost bloody Syrah. This is grippy and firm with layers of tannin and firm, intense dark berry fruit. 2020-30"

- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2018 Special Report), 95 pts


 

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92 Wine Advocate: 92 95 Points
Keermont Syrah 2015

Keermont Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.

This is an intense wine with a bright scarlet colour. Pure grapey aromas are complimented by red spices with some herbal and lavender notes. The palate is full and juicy, packed with ripe fruit and spice. The tight structure gives the wine a succulent finish with lingering flavours of anise, liquorice and a mineral saltiness. Drink 2013-2023.


Review:


"The 2015 Syrah has quite a powerful, floral bouquet of black cherry and blueberry fruit infused with crushed violets, perhaps not as refined as the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon tasted alongside. The palate is medium-bodied, with rounded tannins framing a supple, velvet-smooth Syrah that is built to seduce. Discreet notes of clove and pencil lead develop toward the finish. This is a wine that is keeping its cards close to its chest at the moment, so afford it two or three years in the cellar. - Neal Martin"

- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2019), 93 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93
Keermont Merlot 2016

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.

Keermont Pondokrug Cabernet Franc 2016

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.

Tasting notes: 

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.

Review:

- Wine Enthusiast (September 2021), 90 pts  





 Wine Enthusiast: 90 94 Points
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
Betz Family La Cote Rousse Syrah 2016

Sweet, savory aromas lead the way, sort of a mineral-laden black fruit---dark berries and plums. Smoke, dried herbs, violet, meat, wet stones and a hint of ironstone complete the package. It penetrates yet is a broad fragrant expression. I've always felt the aromatic range of this wine has its foundation in the four clones we use.

The black fruits continue on the palate, with black cherry, dark plum and spices echoing the aroma. While it's rich, almost luxurious, there's a tannic foundation and a structured acidity. Floral and earthy, the dried herbs and stones emerge here too, along with tobacco, thyme and lavender. This is a food-lover's Syrah, with weight, brightness and dimension.

(Clones 174, 383, 99 and Phelps) Vineyards: Ciel du Cheval Ranch at the End of the Road Classic Red Mountain character defines the Syrah La Côte Rousse, despite being the product of a cooler vintage. The warm site vineyards, Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road accumulated more heat than our other sites and ripened the four Syrah clones to a greater extent; we’ve never seen Red Mountain deliver less than full physiological maturity, every vintage. Nevertheless this vintage retains a vibrancy and energy that isn’t often found on Red Mountain.

Review:

"The 2016 Syrah La Cote Rousse is built around clone 99, all from Red Mountain, that saw 45% whole clusters in the fermentation. This cuvee, which is also moving more and more toward Ciel du Cheval, is 88% from this terrific site. It’s another inky purple colored red with a beautiful bouquet of black raspberries, toasted spice, dried herbs, and mineral aromas and flavors. This full-bodied, ripe, layered Syrah needs 2-3 years of bottle age and will keep for 15+ years." 95+ pts - Jeb Dunnuck

"The 2016 Syrah La Côte Rousse reveals notes of purple flowers, crunchy dark berry fruit and cracked pepper, followed by a medium-bodied, youthfully chewy but fine-grained palate that's bright and chalky. Taut and concentrated, it will require—and reward—some patience." 94+ - Robert Parkers Wine Advocate

"So much spice and mineral aromas here with hints of cloves and white pepper. Full body, ink and dark fruit and some black olives. A solid and chewy syrah with so much strength yet form." 94 pts - James Suckling

 


 Wine Advocate: 94 95 Points
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