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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.
"The 2015 has sold out so quickly that Sam O’Keefe is already on to the 2016, which is every bit as good and less funky. Bloody, rich and stony, this is focused, concentrated and well balanced, showing a lick of new oak, dark, brooding fruit flavours and a twist of white pepper. 2019-26. - Tim Atkin"
- Tim Atkin Master of Wine (SA Special Report 2016), 95 pts+ REDS - WINES OF THE YEAR 2017
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.
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.
"On the nose, the 2017 Pinot Noir begins with classic dusty red fruit with subtle red spice tones and hints of oak. On the palate, the wine is just slightly tart, revealing some fresh, zippy cranberry tones with orange spice that lingers through to the finish. The mouthfeel is something like that from the Willamette Valley, where it has a quiet strength at its core, with complex fruit and soft earthy tones. The finish is long and shows great focus and balance. It's beautiful now, but I know it will get better with age. Be patient and let it rest. - Anthony Mueller"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 92+ pts
Lismore Chardonnay Reserve made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Shows intense citrus and soft fruit layered with honey and vanilla carried by a distinct minerality and crisp acidity with a lingering citrus finish.
Coming from a 13 year old vineyard with decomposed shale oiver clay soils.
Fermented and aged 11 months in 500 liter French Oak Foudres (40% new).
Wine was slightly filtered before bottling.
Delightful with warm curries which lift the aromatics or a traditional pairing of smoked salmon highlighting the fresh acidity.
"On the nose, the 2017 Estate Reserve Chardonnay has elegant, luscious red apples, lemon and pear tart and seductive floral notes of cherry blossom. It has excellent mouthfeel with perfect mid-palate weight and balance and elegant Chardonnay expression. The 35% new oak is harmoniously integrated and not heavy handed or overdone and it finishes long. This is beautiful and complex like Chassagne-Montrachet. Yes, this is tasty and collectible stuff! Stock your cellars now as these bottles won't last long. - Anthony Mueller"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 94 pts
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.
"One of two Lismore estate Viogniers reviewed in my 2019 report, this comes from a 0.3-hectare block that was planted 13 years ago. Rich, complex and concentrated, it has pear and apricot fruit, a hint of nectarine and a patina of vanilla and cinnamon spice. 2019-23 Greyton (14%)" - Tim Atkin (South Africa 2019 Special Report), 94 pts
Rubus Old Vine Shiraz Barossa Valley is a blend of 98% Shiraz & 2% Viognier, this richly concentrated Barossa Shiraz is indicative of the style for which Australia's top production region is famous. The wine is dark in color, rich and dense. There are ample tannins balanced by the powerful fruit. You will note the hints of blackberries, mint, and eucalyptus flavors upfront and in the finish. Try Rubus Barossa Shiraz with rich dishes like lamb shank, Osso bucco, beef steak or roast duck.
"Blackberry, currant and blueberry flavors are dense, intense and powerful, mingling with black licorice, sage and spice notes, with a brambly undertone. A spicy hint lingers on the finish. Drink now through 2030. 1,200 cases made. - MaryAnn Worobiec"
- Wine Spectator (November 15th 2018), 90 pts
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.
"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
Avennia Arnaut Syrah is made of 100% Syrah
For our taste, no one grows finer Syrah in the state than Dick Boushey. We named this wine after the Provencal Troubadour Arnaut Daniel, who invented the Sestina poem form, thus creating a connection between our two flagship efforts.
"Deep, dark Syrah notes on the nose, with dark blackberry, blueberry reduction, grilled meat, crushed olive, black licorice, camphor, pen ink, and cracked black pepper. The palate is super concentrated and dense, tightly focused, and deeply complex. Savory blueberry, pan drippings, a hint of orange essence, and hand-rubbed sage come through on the extremely long and nuanced finish. A compelling wine that will age for a couple decades at least." - Chris Peterson, Winemaker
We make this wine with minimal manipulation, using native yeasts and bottling unfined and unfiltered, to allow the "place" to shine through.
AVA: Yakima Valley
Blend: 100% Boushey Vineyard Syrah
Winemaking: 15% whole cluster, native yeast, 15% new French oak, aged 16 months, bottled unfined & unfiltered.
VA .62 g/L
The flagship Syrah is the 2016 Syrah Arnaut, which is always 100% Syrah from Dick Boushey’s vineyard in the Yakima Valley. This deep ruby-colored effort is as silky and seamless as it gets, offering loads of black raspberry, blackberry, smoked earth, spice, and hints of chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, ultra-pure, and impeccably balanced, it's a beautiful wine from Chris to enjoy over the coming 10-15 years. Winemaker Chris Peterson continues to fashion some of the most impressive wines in the State. These are always more classical in style and show plenty of acidity and structure in their youth, yet they blossom with just short term cellaring and are brilliant wines. - Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
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.
"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
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2012 Syrahs. Lovers of this wine know that its source, the Boushey Vineyard, is the highest altitude of the three vineyards and is typically the latest harvested. This cool site was accentuated by the cooler season and the results reflect the seriousness of this vineyard and its care.
An extraordinary, nearly impenetrable black purple color leads to a concentrated, inky aromatic impression: smoky black cherry and wild blackberry dominate, but a litany of supporting aromas is already emerging: smoke, violet, mushroom, roasted meat, Chinese 5 spice and minerals. It has a full attack on entry and a big, rich mouthfeel that goes on and on.
"The 2016 Syrah La Serenne saw plenty of whole clusters as well as 11 months in French oak, 40% new. It’s deep inky colored with a smoking bouquet of blueberries, spring flowers, gunpowder like minerality, and liquid violets. With classic gamey Syrah character, plenty of pepper, medium to full-bodied richness, and a heavenly, silky texture, this might just be the finest vintage of this cuvée to date." 96 pts - Jeb Dunnuck
"The 2016 Syrah La Serenne hails from two acres within the Boushey Vineyard and was fermented with between 66% and 100% whole clusters. The wine is already very complex, wafting from the glass with notes of grilled meat, dried lavender, pepper and candied peel. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, ample and lavish, with a layered mid-palate, fine-grained structuring tannins, sappy acids and a sapid, saline finish." 95 pts - Robert Parker
"Dark, brooding and modern, this has pepper, cherry liqueur and chocolate plus exotic spicy flavors that extend through to the palate. Assertive, forthright finish." 95 pts - James Suckling
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
In 2016, the preceding winter was fairly dry but cold units were exceptional (1200)
with plenty of frosty mornings, allowing the vines to go into a proper dormancy. Rain did finally fall in August and September but as October began, the effect of the El Niño phenomenon (or ENSO episode) started to take effect. October was unusually warm accelerating budbreak and flowering. The fluctuating warm and cool days meant flowering was uneven, giving rise to smaller potential bunch sizes. After a cooler November, December was warm, sunny and dry enabling potential diseases to be kept at bay. A hot and dry January, meant acidity retention by the vine was challenging but after a warm start to February, the weather finally became cooler - and night time temperatures also dipped more so than average - providing the vine with some respite after a particularly torrid summer. The drier conditions meant that disease pressure was minimal, and a healthy crop was picked between the middle and end of March.
The thicker skins held plenty of anthocyanins but meant it was crucial to avoid over extraction. Thus, gentler punch-downs were employed, and post fermentation maceration was shorter with the press fraction matured separately from the free run juice. This resulted in deeper colours with supple, pliant tannins; although acidities were softer than average, fruit concentration was high, and the wines have a lifted black fruit flavour profile.
"On the nose, the 2016 Clonal Selection Elgin Syrah is softly floral with a mineral tone and subtle hints of black fruit plus nuances of black pepper. The palate shows tremendous complexity with skillfully balanced oak tones over blackberries, fresh herbs and fresh cracked black pepper. The finish is elegantly focused and something special. Power and elegance at its finest. This is akin to something from the northern Rhône without the tight mineral grip. Well done! A truly beautiful wine. 9,300 bottles were made. - Anthony Mueller"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 93+ pts
Long Shadows Sequel Syrah is made from 95% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
An intensely colored wine with spicy aromas of cassis, smoked meats and a hint of olive tapenade woven throughout layers of black currant, blueberry and a trace of licorice. Wonderfully balanced, with a broad mouth-feel and soft tannins that hold together seamlessly.
Winemaking: Syrah’s delicate skin requires gentle handling during fermentation to extract richness without imparting bitter tannins, so winemaker John Duval uses a variety of techniques to produce a wide spectrum of flavors. A portion of the grapes were fermented using an Australian method known as “rack and return” that requires draining the tank twice daily and gently putting the juice back over the top of the skins. Whole-cluster fermentation was also used to enhance richness and dimension on the palate. Lastly, some of the lots underwent submerged cap fermentation to add structure and enhance the mouthfeel of the finished wine. Aged 18 months in 100% French oak barrels, 65% new.
A blend of 93% Syrah and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Sequel is another ripe, sexy, yet pure and balanced vintage for this cuvée. Lovely blackberry, smoked earth, graphite, and ground pepper all flow to a medium to full-bodied, silky, elegant wine that packs less of a punch than normal, yet is balanced and layered, with a great finish. It will benefit from a year or two in bottle and keep for a decade. -Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
Ayni Vino de Parcella Gravas is 100% Malbec
Ayni Gravas was created show the diversity of wine profiles that can be derived from Paraje Altamira’s terroir. The goal with this particular wine is to show a markedly calcareous profile that derives in a more intense black fruit flavor profile and a chalky tannin structure with great age potential, as opposed to the more feminine and elegant style which is typical from Paraje Altamira wines.
Chakana plans to further develop this wine, increasing its accents through vineyard selection and oak aging. Over time, production can potentially increase to 10,000 bottles (maximum).
Ayni Gravas is produced from smaller plots of a 20 hectare vineyard in Paraje Altamira, Valle de Uco, Mendoza. Paraje Altamira is a Geographical Indication (IG) located on the alluvial cone of the Tunuyan River. The Ayni vineyard has been planted on virgin soils on the upper (south western) side of the cone. The vineyard is crossed by numerous smaller river beds that once formed the river delta, and these create a pattern of different soil depths and gravel formations, imparting very different characteristics on the wine. Ayni Gravas is produced only with the sections of the vineyard where the calcium carbonated gravels come to the surface and the vines grow amongst them with no soil. Only a smaller percentage of the vineyard (approximately 20%) features these conditions.
Pairs well with grilled meats and stews.
"Dark medium ruby. Enticing violet lift to the aromas of boysenberry, blackberry and licorice; wild but not excessively so. Juicy and fine-grained, with penetrating chalky minerality enlivening the flavors of crushed blackberry, flowers and spices. In a very savory, almost salty style, finishing dry and firm, with fresh, fine-grained tannins and lovely energy and length. (just 12.5% alcohol; from the same vineyard as the Ayni Vineyard Paraje Altamira but from a selection of soils) - Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (June 2019), 91 pts
"There is a new 2017 Ayni Parcela Gravas, a selection of Malbec from their Ayni vineyard in Paraje Altamira from very shallow plots with a high content of limestone. The nature of the soils might have resulted in some stress in a warm and dry year like 2017, and the wine felt a bit ripe and with harsher tannins than the regular Ayni. For the rest, the production and élevage remained more or less the same. I look forward to seeing the results in a cooler year. For now, the tannins need a little bit of time in bottle. 3,000 bottles were filled in March 2019. - Luis Gutiérrez"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 91 pts
Tamarack Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot
Crushed gently and dropped by gravity into 1.5 ton bins, cold soaked for 24 to 72 hours, then inoculated with a variety of yeasts, hand-punched and pressed directly to barrel where the wine finishes both primary and secondary fermentations. The individual lots of wine that compose the Cabernet Sauvignon are kept separate for at least one year before they are blended.
A warm summer led to an early start to harvest, followed by a stretch of lower than average temperatures in late September that slowed ripening so grapes hung longer without sugars skyrocketing, providing balance, more flavor development and concentration. A long but successful harvest!
Full bodied with black currant jam, honey glazed dates and black peppered seasoned T-bone steak aromas intertwined with piercing boysenberry, rosemary rack of lamb, balsamic, blue cheese, bacon wrapped figs and intriguing tannins extended out over an intricate and balanced finish.
"Rich and ripe cabernet in the dark-berry zone that really has attractive freshness and intensity to the nose. The palate has a very sleek array of ripe dark plums with a fleshy texture. Ready now."
- James Suckling (July 2019), 91 pts