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Lismore Syrah 2015

ID No: 444469
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 95 Points
Country:South Africa
Region:Western Cape
Grape Type:Syrah
Winery:Lismore Estate Vineyards
Organic:Yes
Product Description

Cassis, blackberry and cherry. White pepper, ground herbs and the strong floral perfume of crushed violets. Light and elegant, but structured with fresh acidity.

40% Whole bunch ferment in small open vats. 60% destemmed and fermented in a 5000 ltr wooden fermenter with gentle pigeage (punch down of the cap) throughout. Pressed in a traditonal wooden basket press and racked into a 3000 litre oak vat for 9 months.

 


Review:

"If the 2014 Lismore Syrah was noteworthy - the 2012 and 2013 were not released - then this is even better. Deeply coloured and highly perfumed, with stony, granitic, liquorice, black pepper and tapenade notes, complemented by fynbos aromas, granular tannins, subtle oak and pithy acidity. Exceptional winemaking. Drink: 2017-25."
- Tim Atkin Master of Wine (SA Special Report 2016), 95 pts

Winery: Lismore Estate Vineyards

Lismore Estate 

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.

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Winemaking:
Hand picked grapes are cooled in our cold room, where after they are crushed and destemmed to tank, and between 20 to 50% whole bunches are added. 25ppm SO2 is added, and as with all our wines, no other additions are made. The must is initially pigeaged once a day. After about 4 days, fermentation begins with indigenous yeasts, and the wine is pigeaged once or twice a day, depending on extract and tannin development. Temperatures are not allowed to exceed 30 degrees centigrade. Fermentation lasts from 7 to 10 days, and after fermentation, two to four weeks (also depending on tannin development) skin contact is given. The wine is then drained and pressed to barrel for malolactic fermentation and maturation. The different parcels are racked in Spring to blend the wine, which is then returned to barrel and bottled unfiltered and unfined after 11 months in barrel. Please decant (or give time!) when drunk young.

Maturation:
11 months, French oak 225L & 500L barrels, and 2000L Foudre. 15% new wood in total.

Tasting Note:
Black pepper, crushed ripe berry, and tobacco aromas linger on the nose. This juice is every bit of full-bodied on the palate. Well integrated tannin gives the wine a silky texture. Flavors of blackberry, herb, and spice layer throughout and into the long silky finish. This is a big wine that can take on another 10+ years of age and will need some serious decanting if consumed early. 30 minutes of decanting will allow the wine to open beautifully.  

   Review:

Swartland (13.5%) Seven different vineyards on a combination of granite, schist and iron soils make up the blend of this brilliant, textbook Syrah. Running to 35,000 bottles, it has a touch of new oak, wonderful fragrance and perfume, some whole bunch grip and a smoky, brambly mid palate. 2017-23 - Tim Atkins 94 Points

"The 2015 Syrah includes two additional vineyards on granite soils after the 2015, whilst the whole bunch component is back up to 60%. It has a clean and precise bouquet with floral-tinged red berry fruit (red cherry and wild strawberry), nicely focused and developing more intensity with aeration. The palate is very well balanced with crisp acidity, fine structure, much more detail than the 2014 and I think that is down to the higher whole bunch proportion, the sense of energy flowing through on the long finish. Compared to the 2014 Syrah, I much prefer this: more freshness and complexity. - Neal Martin"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #230, April 2017), 93 pts

 

 Wine Advocate: 93 94 Points
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Aged for 20 months in 100% French, medium toast; 60% new, 40% one & two year old
The nose leads off with plum, bright blackberry, and dark bing cherries. A touch of dried blueberry rounds out the fruit profile. Floral notes and cocoa, with nuances of cedar and spice, are sprinkled throughout. All of these characters follow through on the palate and, with a pleasant minerality and continuity, weave a tapestry of complexity and youthful exuberance. 

 


Review:

(14.7% alcohol; mostly from Bacchus and Dionysos vineyards): Healthy dark red. Nicely ripe, nuanced aromas of black- and redcurrant, blueberry, licorice, fresh herbs and tobacco leaf. Deep, spicy, chewy Cabernet with lovely acidity giving shape and clarity to its flavors of blueberry, blackberry, cassis and bitter chocolate. Very nicely balanced, long wine with firm tannins that avoid dryness.


 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 90
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- Beverage testing Institute (August 13th 2018), 93 pts

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Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013

Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. 


The 2013 Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard may be even better. Notes of caramelized citrus, hazelnut, apple blossom, lemon oil and orange marmalade are all present in this wine of dazzling aromatic and flavor dimension. It is full-bodied, again shows some wet pebbles (which I equate with minerality), vibrant acidity, and no real evidence of any oak. Much like the 2012, the finish goes on for 45+ seconds. This is another killer Chardonnay from Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer. -Wine Advocate 100 Points

What an extraordinary tasting this was at the Marcassin winery just north of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. Just when you think the duo of Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer can’t make greater wines, they bowl over the taster with an array of exquisite quality that really must be tasted to be believed. Marcassin was probably California’s greatest Chardonnay after the famous Chalone winery fell from the pinnacle and onto hard times in the 1980s (and it has yet to rebound). Moreover, Marcassin set the bar for great Pinot Noir as well. And while both their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have many competitors these days (from the likes of Harford Court, Mark Aubert, Kistler, Kongsgaard, DuMol, Thomas Brown, Peter Michael, Martinelli and Luc Morlet, to name a few), John Wetlaufer and Helen Turley remain the reigning geniuses of these two varietals in California. Certainly, their meticulous attention to detail in both the vineyard and in the winemaking and élevage account for the quality, but they were among the pioneers who saw the unlimited potential from the Sonoma Coast, now a relatively crowded neighborhood. This was a remarkable tasting that simply blew me away, and I have been following their wines since the first Marcassins were made in the early 1990s. By the way, any doubts about aging potential should be crushed immediately, as even in the most challenging vintages in California, Marcassin Chardonnays and Pinots have aged as well as, if not better than just about any grand cru white Burgundy. For example, 1995 and 1996 Chardonnays, particularly those from the Lorenzo Vineyard, are incredibly youthful and dynamic, and the Marcassin Estate Pinot Noir, even from vintages such as 1998, is simply amazing. The three Chardonnays tasted include two perfect wines. Perhaps the closest comparison is not to anything made in California, but a Corton-Charlemagne in a top vintage from the famous Jean François Coche-Dury.



 Wine Advocate: 100