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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
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.
Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf du Pape XV Rouge is made from 50% Grenache, 45% Mourvèdre and 5% Syrah. From 100 year old vines.
It shows a bit of toasty oak up front but balances that with ample black cherry fruit and soft, dusty tannins. Long and harmonious on the finish, it should drink well on release in 2019 and for a decade or more after that.
Pairs with beef with mustard sauce - Pork tenderloin with winter vegetables - Roasted duck - Malaysian pork chop and spice tea.
Checking in as equal parts Syrah and Mourvèdre, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape XV will certainly be an outstanding wine. It sports a deep purple color as well as lots of black and blue fruits, leafy herbs, cracked pepper, and a touch of minerality. Medium to full-bodied, it has good balance, terrific purity, and outstanding length.
-Jeb Dunnuck 90-93 Points
Baron Ermengaud Faugeres Rouge is made from 80% Syrah, 10% Grenache, 5%, Mourvèdre and 5% Carignan.
The Baron Ermengaud cuvée is named after the lord Ermengaud de Fouzilhon. In the 12 century, the Lord gave land, which was located in Laurens Village, to monks, who built a monastic barn. The monks (Benedictine and then Cistercian) used to cultivate the vineyards, using techniques that were quite wise and modern at the time. The people of Laurens enjoyed and benefited from learning their methods.
This Faugeres is dark red with shades of black cherry. A large complexity of aromas allows us to savor a mix of sun fruits and spices. This powerful and full-bodied wine, with a deep consistency, offers an intensity of ripe fruits. It has a long, rich palate on velvety tannins with raised hints of pepper.
Pairs with roast saddle of lamb with juniper berries; peppered venison with pears.
"Les Crus Faugères is the only cooperative in this appellation, managing 2,223 acres or nearly half of Faugères’ vines. It puts out a vast array of labels, including Mas Olivier, also recommended here, but Baron Ermengaud was the standout for both its 2019 and 2018 reds. Mostly syrah (80 percent), with grenache, carignan and mourvèdre, all of it hand-harvested off schist parcels, the 2019 shines in its combination of earthiness and brightness. Lively acidity and herbal notes give it a just-picked freshness that energizes the red fruit; the clarity allows a clear view of the earth, too, in shades of schist and iron. It tastes like it’s from a place, with a sense of sun and garrigue that’s transporting."
Wine & Spirits Magazine (June 2021), 94 points
Dominique Piron Morgon Cote du Py is made from 100 percent Gamay.
The Morgon Cru is based in the heart of Northern Beaujolais. Côte du Py is the heart of Morgon, a little hill of very old blue stone rocks - the oldest soils of Beaujolais (around 430 millions years old), with a typical blue color.
Côte du Py has been known for centuries for being the best terroir of the village, producing long lived wines with strong structure and flavors.
The first half of the year was complicated : cool spring, ice storm. But a perfect second half : warm and dry. Late harvests without any rain produced beautiful grapes. A fruity, elegant and greedy vintage.
Wines of the Côte du Py are very dark, profound and dense. Classic aromas of red berries, cherry, kirsh. Fruity, structured and mineral in the mouth with graphite flavors and spicy notes of black and white pepper. Wine can age up to 10 years.
Hand picked grapes are sorted manually and destemmed for 50 to 70%. Fermentation starts in concrete tanks and lasts for 18-25 days with remontages and pigeages. Then after pressurage starts the aging, for 2/3 in concrete tanks, and 1/3 in recent French oak barrels with batonages on fine lies only. After 10 month we do the blending, keeping only the best cuvees and best barrels, and do the bottling.
Pairs well with red meat like beef, duck and game (Hare, Dear, Wild Pork,…), cheses.
"Still young, but showing its full potential, this is a tight, dark and structured wine. It has ripeness, a firm set of underlying tannins and concentration. Drink this wine from 2023. - ROGER VOSS"
- Wine Enthusiast (April 2022), 95 pts
Jean Arthaud Morgon Cote du Py is made from 100 percent Gamay.
In the heart of the Crus area of Beaujolais, wines of “Morgon” AOC are often described as best representing the character of their terroir. The appellation is dominated by a hill called Mont du Py. Its soil of decomposed schist gives typical aromas to the wines. French winemakers usually describe this particularity in a verb: “morgonner”, be like a Morgon. This Morgon Côte du Py is produced on this hill peaking at 300m above sea-level. The selected parcels are very sunny, on south-oriented steep slopes.
Deep ruby in color, this wine offers a complex nose, mineral and fruity. It mingles aromas of ripe raspberry, black and morello cherries with hints of flint, ink, clove and black pepper. The highly vibrant palate has a sound underlying structure which is powerful yet velvety, thanks to tannins which, despite mellowing, are still very perceptible. This is a stylish wine bearing the hallmarks of its terroir with a long and spicy finish.
This wine has also a very good ageing potential and will start to develop some secondary aromas after 5 or 6 years if kept properly in a wine cellar.
Slight filtration before bottling, no fining. 85% of the wine was aged in cement tank, and 15% of the wine was aged during 6 months in 2-year-old French Oak 228-liter barrels.
Temperature controlled skin contact maceration for 12-14 days.
The wine is a blend of 50% full cluster fermentation and 50% destemmed.
Soil is decomposed schist and very old volcanic rocks.
Average age of the vines is 55 years old.
K Vintners Rockgarden Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.
Black plum, Asian five spice, warm turned river stone and taut with tension. Seamless Syrah that persists with black olive, high-polished black shoe leather and beef jerky that keeps going and never gives in.
Iodine and licorice with crushed-stone and dark-berry character. Full-bodied with chewy tannins that are structured and intense. Flavorful and polished at the end with just a hint of coffee. Drink or hold.
-James Suckling 96 Points
Flanagan Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.
The Flanagan Syrah Bennett Valley opens with notes of white pepper, cherry blossom, and Bay Leaf. The palate has ripe black fruit, bacon fat, and Herbs de Provence with a surprising amount of tannin structure for New World Syrah. The wine is ripe and generous and retains great acids. The small berries produced from the steep, volcanic hillside site gives the wine great color and concentration. This is a wine that can stand proudly with top Syrah from around the world.
Aged in 100% French oak barrels from Allier Centre France cooperage with 15% new barrels.
"Impressive dark fruit in the blackberry zone and sweetly fragrant spices with hints of pepper and oak toast. The palate has a very supple and juicy edge with a suave, plush and smoothly delivered, black-cherry and blackberry core of flavor. Drink or hold."
- James Suckling (November 2018), 94 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
Lismore Chardonnay Reserve made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
A careful selection of the best of the vintage that exemplifies the extraordinary terroir of Lismore. This Reserve Chardonnay shows intense citrus, stone fruit, jasmine and walnut layered with honey and vanilla carried by a distinct minerality and crisp acidity with a lingering citrus finish.
Wine Made in the Soil
The vineyards are planted in decomposed shale over clay at 300 meters in the foothills of the Sonderend Mountain Range. A low mean February temperature lends to an extended ripening period that can put harvest 3-4 weeks later than traditional wine growing regions in South Africa. The intense citrus notes and the lingering finish are consistent trademarks of Lismore's specific terroir. The restrained minerality of the Chardonnay is a clear indication of the cool climate in which it is grown.
Wine of Origin "Greyton" has been designated by SAWIS recognizing the special terroir of this region.
Delightful with warm curries which lift the aromatics or a traditional pairing of smoked salmon highlighting the fresh acidity.
The 2018 Estate Reserve Chardonnay is aged for 11 months in 500-liter barrels, 30% new oak. It has a little more amplitude on the nose compared to the 2017 Chardonnay, and its aromas of citrus fruit, wet limestone and orange zest unfold gently. The palate is very well balanced with a fine line of acidity that cuts through the intense orange zest, apricot and white peach fruit. This is taut and wonderfully focused with just the right amount of salinity on the finish. Outstanding.
-- Neal Martin Vinous 95 Points
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
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
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.
The 2018 Syrah Arnaut Boushey Vineyard is all varietal and was 85% destemmed and aged 16 months in 15% new French oak. Offering an Hermitage-like meatiness as well as lots of black and blue fruits, full-bodied richness, a round, expansive texture, and beautiful violet, floral, and gamey aromas and flavors, it’s brilliant, concentrated red delivering notable ripeness as well as a plenty of underlying structure and tannins. Again, a comparison to a top Hermitage comes closest in comparison. Give bottles 2-4 years and enjoy over the following 10-15 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
B Leighton Olsen Bros Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.
Inviting, Intriguing, brooding and vivacious. Black cherry, wet earth, grilled meats, fireplace ash and black pepper take you there and then beautiful notes of seaweed, camphor and black tar finish it off in time for another sip and more exploration of this wonderful wine.
Lots of smoky and grilled-meat character to the ripe-berry highlights. It’s full-bodied with round, juicy tannins and lots of flavor and intensity. Yet, it remains fresh and vivid at the end. Vanilla touches make it even more interesting. Drink or hold.
-James Suckling 94 Points
Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot
The 2015 Clos de Betz is a blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot. Offering up aromas of blackcurrants, crème de cassis, licorice, incense and rich soil tones, it's full-bodied, layered and velvety, with super concentration and depth, fine-grained structuring tannins and a long, youthfully chewy finish. The structural refinement and detail are indicative of Betz's thoughtful approach to the challenges of the 2015 vintage.
-Wine Advocate 95 Points
Argot Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Sugarloaf Vineyard is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Sugarloaf’s terroir continues to impress with its expression of classically-styled Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons — impeccably pure black and red fruit character; broad, rich, perfectly ripe tannins; classic Napa Valley notes of cigar leaf, eucalyptus, and freshly-tilled earth; and definitive complexities of clove, all-spice and bay leaf. Having assessed past vintages with a few years of age, we have come to greatly value the significant reward Sugarloaf delivers after a few years in the cellar.
From Block 6, an acre of fiercely steep, ferociously rocky hillside, located in Napa’s far south-eastern foothills, deeply affected by the cooling influences of San Pablo Bay. One of the latest harvests in all of Napa Valley each vintage. Mother Nature was kind to this site in 2019, being our most bountiful year here ever. With perfect set, and vines displaying great health, this normally stingy hillside delivered superlative quality, without restraint of yield. After a slow start in the Spring, 2019’s particularly warm September and October played beautifully to the vineyard’s strengths, and delivered a classic Halloween-time harvest.
"It is not often that you see a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon coming from this rising star, cooler-climate vineyard in south Napa. This wine comes exclusively from the low-yielding, steep, rocky "Block 6." Deep purple-black in color, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Sugarloaf Vineyard needs a little coaxing to reveal wonderfully pure scents of blackcurrant cordial, juicy blueberries and ripe blackberries, plus suggestions of iris bulb, dark chocolate, molten licorice and cedar chest. The big, rich, seductive, full-on full-bodied palate is laden with ripe, energetic black berry layers, framed by firm, ripe, grainy tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and perfumed. A stunning, true-blue Napa blockbuster with its own very evocative signature, this comes highly recommended! 175 cases were made. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (November 2021), 97+ pts