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Wine from Stellenbosch

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Wine from Stellenbosch

Located in South Africa, Stellenbosch is a very important district. Just 30 miles east of Capetown, Stellenbosch is the second oldest settlement in the country. The wine producing wards are Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, Jonkershoek Valley, Bottelary, Banghoek, Dvon Valley, Papegaaiberg, and Polkadraai Hills.

Stellenbosch was nicknamed, “The City of Oaks,” because of the oak trees that were planted by Simon van der Stel who founded Stellenbosch and was the mayor of Cape Town. The well-drained terrain is hilly with the majority of vineyards located at 330 Feet above sea level. The Cape Fold Mountain range shelters the valleys. The first wine vineyards were planted by German settlers, known as Huguenot, in 1690.

The climate in Stellenbosch is Mediterranean and perfect for viticulture. The winters are rainy, cool, and occasionally windy with daytime temperatures averaging about 61°. Occasionally snow flurries occur two or three times a year. Autumn and spring are considered shoulder seasons with average temperatures at the 68° mark. Summers are generally dry and hot.

The variety of soils in Stellenbosch range from decomposed granite on the hillsides, dark, alluvial soils that drain well in the valley. The combination results in high-quality red wines. Notable reds in the region include Shiraz, Pintoage, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Prominent white wines include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Chenin Blanc.

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Keermont Estate Reserve 2014

Keermont Estate Reserve Red Blend is made from 36% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec, 6% Syrah, 4% Petit Verdot

The Keermont Estate Reserve is the winery's flagship red blend. With this blend they aim to bring to life the nuances of both the terroir at Keermont Vineyards and the particular vintage.

Venetian red in color, this wine exudes complex aromas of ripe cherry, wild berries, and dusty 'fynbos'. The palate has an array of ripe berries, cherry sherbet, crushed herbs and spices. Elegant but firm tannin affords the wine a long dry succulent finish.  

All grapes 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.

Small batches 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 22 months maturing in French oak barrels (20% new) before being bottled by hand without filtration

Review:

"The 2014 Estate Reserve is a blend of 37% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, 12% Petit Verdot and 2% Syrah. It has an intense bouquet of black cherries, boysenberry, pressed iris petals and a touch of iodine, all very focused and seeming to just close up a little with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins framing crisp blackberry and bilberry fruit laced with licorice and sea salt. It feels very composed on the finish, yet I suspect that it might close up for a couple of years. Have a cellar handy. - Neal Martin"

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

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93
Keermont Pondokrug Cabernet Franc 2015

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:

"Sourced from the top two terraces of the vineyard up near the reservoir, this single parcel Cabernet Franc reveals good typicity and impressive depth of plum and dark cherry fruit. Creamy, lush texture on a full bodied palate with fine firm tannins. Matured 20 months in used French oak. The name means hut (pondok) on the ridge (rug) in Afrikaans."- International Wine Review (January 2019), 93 pts

- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (August 2018), 91 pts


"The 2015 Keermont Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Cottage Lane Vineyard, located at 300 meters above sea level. It was picked in small batches that underwent strict sorting and spent two to three weeks on the skins. It then matured for 22 months in 225-liter French oak barrels (10% to 15% new) before being bottled by hand without filtration. It has a tightly wound bouquet at first, presenting blackberry, bilberry, cedar and light damp undergrowth scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and mint- and cedar-tinged black fruit on the entry, building toward a nicely structured, quite sappy finish. It doesn’t quite deliver the panache of its Syrah counterpart, but it is a fine Cabernet Sauvignon all the same. - Neal Martin"- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (August 2018), 91 pts






 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91 93 Points
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
Keermont Red Blend 2012 (Magnum)

Keermont Red Blend 2012 is made from 37% Merlot 29% Cabernet Sauvignon and the remainder Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Malbec

Venetian red in colour, this wine exudes complex aromas of ripe cherry, wild berries, and dusty 'fynbos'. The palate has an array of ripe berries, cherry sherbet, crushed herbs and spices. Elegant but firm tannin affords the wine a long dry succulent finish. Drink 2015-2025.

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 Steepside Syrah 2016

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



 

 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
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