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Lismore Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir
Complex bouquet of crushed rose petals, wild jasmine and fresh French herbs followed by a palate full of cranberry, raspberry and a long savory finish.
The grapes were picked at optimal ripeness. 30% whole bunch fermented in large 5000 liter vats with gentle pump-overs twice a day. The process allowed for a long extraction period which lends to the fruit expression and structure of this wine. The free run wine was drained off and the fermented grapes were then pressed in a traditional wooden basket press. The wine was racked into 225, 300 and 500 liter barrels where malolactic fermentation took place and the wine was aged for 10 months. 35% new French oak was used.
"The 2018 Pinot Noir comes from Walker Bay and Kaaimansgat and includes 30% whole-bunch fruit, aged for 11 months in 25% new oak. The bouquet sports vivid red cherry and raspberry fruit that is exceptionally well defined and beautifully integrated with the oak. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, well-judged acidity and a slightly fleshy texture. There is just the right amount of salinity here, and the finish is kept on a tight leash, allowing the detail and precision to be fully expressed. A slight sour edge on the finish keeps you coming back for another sip. Excellent and reassuringly classy. - Neal Martin" - Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2019), 92 pts
"Walker Bay and Elandskloof are the twin sources of 30% whole bunch-fermented Pinot from Sam O'Keefe. Juicy, floral and charming, it's a graceful, fruit forward style with some clove and tobacco spice and refreshing acidity. The finish is a little firmer than I remember. 2020-24"- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2020 Special Report), 92 pts
Tucked into the foothills of a dramatic mountain range at the bottom of Africa is Lismore Estate Vineyards. Californian Samantha O'Keefe has found paradise and the perfect terroir. Her passion combined with vines planted at 300 meters, chilled by the winter snow and nourished by the African summer sun, produce classic cool climate wines which are rich, complex and lovingly hand crafted.
Lismore Estate Vineyards
The Overberg region is rapidly earning a reputation for premium cool climate grapes. Greyton has now been designated a ward within that district recognizing the unique terroir expression of the wine that is produced there. Lismore is the only registered wine estate in the Greyton ward. Lismore's vineyards are planted on slopes at the base of the Riviersonderend Mountain Range. The combination of elevation and climate make for an extended ripening period which is roughly 3-4 weeks later than the more traditional wine growing areas in the Western Cape. There are a total of 12.5 ha planted with Chardonnay, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier.
Kershaw Syrah Deconstructed Lake District Cartref SH22 is made from 100 percent Syrah.
The inspiration for this Syrah stems from my belief that the Elgin region has both a signature grape as well as particular terroirs within its demarcated boundary that reflect regional credentials. This Syrah was selected from a sub-region of Elgin from a specific vineyard and an individual clone.
Sourced from a single parcel in the Western part of Elgin, the 22 clone produces fuller, well-colored yet finely structured wines. They tend to be more concentrated as yields are low with more black fruit, black pepper and meaty notes. The Cartref soils, a mixture of decomposed sandstone, pebbles and quartz, add gracefulness and heighten the fruit intensity.
The grapes were handpicked under autumnal skies into small lug baskets and then manually sorted on a conveyor before the stems were removed. The destemmed berries fell onto a vibrating table in order to remove jacks and substandard berries before dropping uncrushed into a small 500kg conical hopper and forklifted into open-topped fermenters. The grapes underwent a 3-day maceration before spontaneous fermentation began. A gentle pigeage (punch-down of the cap) program was charted and the grapes remained on skins for 26 days. The wine was then racked to barrel under gravity and the remaining pomace basket-pressed. Malolactic then proceeded in barrel followed by a light sulfuring and 17-month maturation. No finings were necessary and the wine was simply racked and bottled unfiltered.
"Rich, ripe fruit with a note of cooking spice on the nose. Very dense on the palate with terrific peppery black fruit (think St. Joseph) at the core and minerals. Long, graceful finish. Sourced from a single parcel of only the SH22 clone. Matured 17 months in 228L French oak, 45% new."
- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 93 pts
Kershaw Elgin Clonal Selection Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.
Subtle, precise style built on fine tannins that educe harmony, freshness with flavours of black skinned fruit, iodine and ground white peppercorns.
The grapes were handpicked under autumnal skies into small lug baskets and then manually sorted on a conveyor before the stems were removed. The destemmed berries fell onto a vibrating table in order to remove jacks and substandard berries before dropping uncrushed into a small 500kg conical hopper and forklifted into open-topped fermenters. The grapes underwent a 3-day maceration before spontaneous fermentation began. A gentle pigeage program was charted and the grapes remained on skins for 26 days. The wine was then racked to barrel under gravity and the remaining pomace basket-pressed. Malolactic then proceeded in barrel followed by a light sulphuring and 17-month maturation. No finings were necessary and the wine was simply racked and bottled unfiltered.
Vineyards: Age of the vines is 10 years-old
"This has a gorgeous, lifted nose that combines perfumed fruit and oak spice to heady effect. Soft, plush and fresh on the palate, with pinpoint raspberry acidity and lingering rose perfume. It’s matured in barriques and 500-litre French oak barrels, half new, the other half recently used – the oak plays an integral part and it’s applied with great skill. Displaying exceptional tannic finesse, this is a thrilling and emotive Syrah. Matt Walls"
- Decanter (August 2020, Syrah vs Shiraz: 30 great buys from South Africa), 97 pts
Lismore Estate Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.
A careful selection of the best of the vintage that exemplifies the extraordinary terroir of Lismore.
An exotic experience which shifts your mind to another place. Cassis, brambles and succulent cherry. White pepper, classic garrigue and the strong floral perfume of crushed violets. Light and elegant, but structured with a fresh acidity. To experience the best this wine has to offer, decanting is suggested.
The grapes were fermented 40% whole bunch in a 5000 litre wooden fermenter with gentle pigeage throughout. The process allowed for a long extraction period which lends to the fruit expression of this wine. The wine was left for a 30 day extended maceration on the skins and then pressed in a traditional baskets press. Matured in 500 litre barrels for 10 months (35% new). Time in the bottle will allow integration, the deepening of layers and full expression of the fruit.
"This is the best release yet from Lismore, superior even to the impressive 2017. Made from blocks that are now 13 years' old, this is wonderfully, enticingly floral, showcasing all that is best about Syrah: aromatic spices, layered cherry and strawberry fruit, bright acidity, some tannic backbone, subtle whole bunch notes and a long finish. The oak is on point, the alcohol daringly restrained. 2020-30 Greyton (13.2%)"
- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2019 Special Report), 97 pts
"The 2018 Estate Reserve Syrah contains 50% whole-bunch fruit and is aged in 500- and 700-liter barrels, 30% new. It has an extremely pure, slightly floral bouquet of bright blueberry and black currant fruit infused with scents of crushed iris petals and violets, almost Burgundian in style. The palate is extremely well balanced with perfectly pitched acidity and filigreed tannins. There is an unerring sense of weightlessness about this Syrah, which is one of the most precise Lismore reds I have encountered over several years of tasting. Absolutely stunning. - Neal Martin"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2019), 97 pts
Lismore Estate Reserve Viognier is made from 100 percent Viognier.
This a Greyton WO.
Balance is the key to this wine. Viognier is an aromatic and generous varietal, it benefits from barrel maturation and lees contact with a fuller mouth feel and increased texture. This combined with the firm acid backbone and intense fruit will allow this wine to integrate beautifully and gain further complexity over the next 3-5 years.
Rich, lush and decadent. Viognier is a gorgeous variety. Honeysuckle, peaches and dried apricot with a lingering citrus finish. A clean fresh acidity supports the extravagance of the nose and the palate.
Viognier, a traditional Rhone variety is perfectly suited to Lismore’s cool-climate terrior. The vineyard block is on decomposed shale and one of the healthiest and well balanced on the farm. The entire team looks forward to the Viognier harvest and the beautiful amber tinged berries.
The grapes were picked at optimal ripeness and whole bunch pressed, slowly extracting the juice at a rate of 500ltrs per ton. The juice was settled for 48 hours and was racked into burgundian barriques (1st fill) for fermentation and maturation. The wine was left on the lees with regular “batonnage” for 11 months.
Lighter styles are often paired with curries and the like. This Viognier is different. We recommend medium bodied meals that are intense and complex. For example:
- Sesame encrusted tuna marinated in a blend of orange, lemon and lime juice spiced with sesame oil and balsamic vinegar – seared on a wood fired grill and served with griddled vegetables, or
- Free range duck breast smoked with Darjeeling tea and coriander leaves. Set on a cinnamon poached pear glazed with a gooseberry jus.
In both of these dishes, the fruit and floral aspects of the wine are complimented by the exotic and aromatic elements in the dish which are also highlighted by the spiciness from the oak fermentation; the fresh acidity freshens the palate, and yet the Lismore Viognier has the body to hold up against the weight of the duck or the tuna. It is also gorgeous with a well laid cheese platter.
"Reviewed in my 2019 and 2020 reports, but still on the market, this comes from a 0.3-hectare block that was planted 17 years ago and survived the fire last year. Rich, complex and concentrated, it has pear and apricot fruit, a hint of nectarine and a patina of vanilla and cinnamon spice. Has tightened up over the last year. 2020-23"
- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2020 Special Report), 95 pts
Argot Pinot Noir Sonoma County is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Everything you have come to expect from an Argot Pinot Noir, shone through the filter of a textbook-perfect vintage. We simply can not get over the quality of fruit this wine displays! Intense, yet fresh; fruity, yet spicy; brambly, yet juicy; immediate, yet lingering. A Pinot Noir that displays the variety’s natural come-hither attitude, while succinctly capturing its intriguing nature. There are not enough superlatives to describe this wine. Almost too easy to love!
VINEYARD Multiple vineyards throughout Sonoma County, including both valley floor and high-elevation hillside sites
PRODUCTION 600 cases
VARIETAL 100% Pinot Noir
CRUSH Night harvested by hand beginning in mid-September, concluding at our coolest sit on October 13. Cluster and berry sorted by hand, de-stemmed, no crushing
FERMENT 7-day cold soaks, followed by native fermentation in open-top containers, with the grapes fermenting on their skins for an average time of 14 days.
AGING 16 months, French oak barrels, 7% new, remainder once-used. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled un-fined, unfiltered.
NOTES Singularly great. 2018 was an all-time vintage for California’s North Coast, achieving rarely before experienced heights. A mild summer gave way to Autumnal perfection, allowing cooler areas the opportunity to ripen their crop while chemistries remained perfect. What arrives in bottle is nothing short of a pinnacle representation of Sonoma County Pinot Noir — profound depth of pure, red Pinot Noir fruits, caressing textures balanced by deep minerality and a quenching acidity.
Holocene Memorialis Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Holocene Pinot Noir Memorialis is a blend of 777, Pommard and 115 clones from MonksGate vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, and it saw about 20% new French oak for 16 months prior to bottling. It is always the lighter and more feminine of the two Holocene wines, with red fruits, white flowers, dried herbs, mushroom and forest floor aromatics, bright acidity and a lithe texture, long finish.
"Showing beautifully, with a Côte de Nuit-like nose of darker cherries, strawberries, sappy herbs, baking spices, and flowers, the 2018 Pinot Noir Memorialis is medium to full-bodied and has a gorgeously textured, layered mouthfeel, present tannins, and a solid spine of acidity. It would give many a Grand Cru Red Burgundy a run for its money in a blind tasting."
- Jeb Dunnuck (May 2021), 95 pts
Maggy Hawk Unforgettable Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
The 2018 Unforgettable was harvested and vinified separately for its unique qualities. After an initial five-day soak, the fruit fermented in three-ton fermenters with pump overs twice daily. Freshness, power and persistence. Unforgettable offers up a delightful balance of jammy blackberry, boysenberry and blueberry with lively aromas of violets, lilac and pennyroyal.
A dark heart of black fruit centers this complex and well-balanced wine. Enticing, spicy clove, cedar and earth aromas lead to a supersmooth but well-structured palate that reveals black-cherry, rhubarb and black-tea nuances. It's distinctive and should age well in the mid-term. Best from 2023. Jim Gordon
-Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
The 2018 Pinot Noir Unforgettable is built on texture and creaminess. It offers a bit more mid-palate structure than some of the other wines in the range. The mix of mostly Pommard and Wadensvil clones works so well here. Silky and open-knit, the 2018 can be enjoyed with minimal cellaring.
-Vinous 93 Points
Sojourn Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
One of the best values in the Sojourn portfolio, the Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir brings together eight unique lots from sites that comprise several of our single- vineyard designate bottlings. Sangiacomo, Rodgers Creek, Walala and Gap’s Crown Vineyards are the key components, creating a polished blend that offers robust flavors and exceptional texture. This wine offers balance and depth, with multiple layers of dark cherry, nutmeg and earth, leading to a long finish. It is drinking exceptionally well now with a fresh, complex bouquet that draws you into the glass. This wine is the real deal.
This wine is a blend of eight unique lots produced from Sonoma Coast vineyards ranging from Occidental to the Petaluma Gap. Gap’s Crown, Sangiacomo, Rodgers Creek and Walala Vineyards represent key components used to produce this blend. Pinot noir clones 115, 828, 667, Pommard, and Wädenswil 2A add unique elements creating a complex Pinot noir with a myriad of textures and flavors. Each vintage, this wine is balanced and vibrant with lush textures that are characteristic of the Gap’s Crown and Sangiacomo vineyard components.
Pairs with grilled red meat, grilled vegetables, Pizza and pasta.
"The same could be said for the 2018 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast, which has a slightly fresher, more floral, raspberry-laced perfume as well as lots of pine and foresty nuances, medium to full body, a tight, vibrant texture, and a great finish. It's another beautiful wine that should evolve for 5-7 years or so."
- Jeb Dunnuck (May 5th 2020), 93 pts
Belle Glos Eulenoch Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Ruby red with aromas of ripe cherry and juicy blackberry with hints of cocoa. Rich and opulent offering flavors of bakers chocolate, blackberry, and sweet pipe tobacco. Well rounded with supple, refined tannins and a mouthwatering, long finish.
J. Davies Nobles Vineyard Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
The Nobles Pinot Noir starts off with aromas of rich strawberry, black cherry and Earl Grey tea, followed gracefully with coriander and exotic spices. The palate offers a juicy mid-palate of blueberry and plum layered with mocha and rhubarb, closing with a long-integrated acidity.
Elegant and pure-tasting, with red berry, plum and raspberry flavors that are well-structured. Toasty midpalate, with a rich finish that offers spicy minerality. Drink now through 2026.
-Wine Spectator 92 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
Jip Jip Rocks Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz.
Lifted spice and ripe mulberry/blackberry aromas are complimented with chocolate, cedar and cinnamon on the nose. Well-integrated oak tannin provides flavors of clove and supple texture, which supports the rich plum, blackberry and mocha. The overall structure is supple and generous with fine-grained tannin and a lingering finish.
Fermentation took place over 10 – 12 days in a combination of open and static fermenters. The temperature was closely monitored to ensure the wine retains its natural fruit expression. New and older French and American oak was used for the maturation of selected wine parcels over a period of 13 months. These parcels were put together from our family estate to best demonstrate the depth and character of our fruit, balanced by integrated oak.
"Wonderfully ripe and fragrant, the inviting bouquet shows Black Doris plum, blueberry compote, warm spice and cedar characters. The palate offers terrific fruit intensity combined with fleshy texture and polished tannins, making it delectable and highly enjoyable. At its best: now to 2027. AU$23.00."
- Wine Orbit (August 2020), 93 pts