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Boet Le Roux Old Vine Colombard 2016

If you ever find yourself in the heart of the Swartland, you're likely to see a familiar face. Boet Le Roux, farmer extraordinaire, is our own living legend. Tirelessly he battles the fierce South African sun to deliver only the finest the Swartland has to offer.
With crisp citrus fruit and a zesty, refreshing finish, Boet Le Roux's Old Vine Colombard has a lively larger-than-life character that's refreshingly good company all year round.

Colmant Brut Rose NV

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Lovely salmon pink color. A very delicate nose of strawberry and redcurrant fruit with floral undertones. There is a silky richness on the palate full of red berries balanced with a subtle bready texture. Very accessible. Will also develop nicely over time.

Colmant Brut Rose NV  is made from 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay

This wine spends a minimum of 24 months on the lees at a consistent temperature of 14C before degorgement.15% of the base wine has been barrel fermented.

Pinot Noir 75%, Chardonnay 25% (Franschhoek, Robertson and Elgin).

15% of the blend is made of reserve wine from the previous vintages and 15% of the base wine is barrel fermented.
This wine spends a minimum of 24 months on the lees at a consistent temperature of 14°C before degorgement.

Perfect as a summer sundowner. A delicious complement to white meat, strawberry dessert and decadent dark chocolate.

Review:

"The Brut Rosé (disgorged March 2018) is a blend of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay with 15% base wine and 15% reserve wine, with the Pinot Noir macerated on its skins for color, matured on the lees for 24 months. Deep salmon in color, it has a fine mousse and attractive strawberry and cherry scents on the nose - no shy and retiring rosé here. The palate is well balanced with Braeburn apples, hints of strawberry and a touch of tart cherries fanning out toward the creamy-textured, satisfying finish. A sparkling rosé that’s proud to be pink!- Neal Martin"

- Vinous (August 28th 2018), 91 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91
Keermont Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

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The 2014 vintage is the maiden release of Cabernet Sauvignon from Keermont Vineyards. All the grapes come from their Cottage Lane Vineyard on the mid-slopes of the Helderberg. This vineyard is situated on the crest of a ridge (320m above sea level) so has aspects ranging from East through North to West. It is very exposed resulting in small vines with low yields. This has allowed them to make a relatively fine grained Cabernet, but the clay soils translate to a wine with power, tension and fresh acidity.

Rich crimson red color. The nose is a complex mix of savoury notes: crushed herbs, violets, sandalwood, leather and some lovely bright red fruit. The palate is fine and yet powerful. Lush spicy red fruit is complimented by blueberry and bramble notes. Powerful tight-knit tannin and a very linear acidity afford the wine a long succulent finish. Drink 2017-2030

All grapes used in producing their 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 22 months maturing in 225 Litre French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration. They produced just 3654 bottles. The wine was bottle matured in the Keermont cellar for a further 18 months before release.

VINTAGE REPORT
The season’s winter was generally mild, but became cold and wet towards spring time. Keermont experienced record rainfall and even snow on the mountains during August 2013. This allowed for good vine growth during the spring, but also increased the mildew pressure and resulted in an unusually large insect population. Fortunately neither of these had a major impact on our crop. Our soils stayed moist throughout the growing season thanks to moderate temperatures and we hardly had to irrigate at all before harvest. A series of heat waves in early February jolted us into harvest action. The vines, which had been very nurtured by all the moisture, suddenly started to show some signs of stress and we needed to pick quite a few of the blocks over a short period. The favourable growing conditions contributed to a healthy crop of 150 tons for Keermont Vineyards.

ANALYSIS
Alc: 15.0 %
pH: 3.69
TA: 5.58g/L
RS: 1.72 g/L TSO2: 63 mg/L VA: 0.82 g/L


Review:

"This is the first vintage of this varietal Cabernet, grown on red clay loam soils at 300 metres. The vines are still quite young, but it’s a superb début, with subdued oak, savoury, perfumed top notes, fine-grained tannins and pure cassis and wild herb flavours. One to watch. 2019-25."

- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2017 Special Report), 93 pts


"The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a new addition to the Keermont range. It comes from a single, low-yielding block, although it will not be labelled as such, from loamy soils around 300 meters above sea level. Most of the maturation is in 225-liter barrels with around 20% new oak. It has a straightforward bouquet, perhaps not quite as personality-driven as the Cabernet Franc at the moment, but developing pleasing graphite/pencil box scents with time. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, good body and presence in the mouth with that graphite theme continuing from the aromatics. Well balanced and harmonious towards the finish, I would afford this a couple of years in bottle to develop more varietal character. - Neal Martin"

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #230, April 2017), 91 pts

 Wine Advocate: 91 93 Points
Keermont Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

All the grapes come from their Cottage Lane Vineyard on the mid-slopes of the Helderberg. This vineyard is situated on the crest of a ridge (320m above sea level) so has aspects ranging from East through North to West. It is very exposed resulting in small vines with low yields. This has allowed them to make a relatively fine grained Cabernet, but the clay soils translate to a wine with power, tension and fresh acidity.

Rich crimson red color. The nose is a complex mix of savoury notes: crushed herbs, violets, sandalwood, leather and some lovely bright red fruit. The palate is fine and yet powerful. Lush spicy red fruit is complimented by blueberry and bramble notes. Powerful tight-knit tannin and a very linear acidity afford the wine a long succulent finish. Drink 2017-2030

All grapes used in producing their 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 22 months maturing in 225 Litre French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration. They produced just 3654 bottles. The wine was bottle matured in the Keermont cellar for a further 18 months before release.

Review:

"The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is open on the nose with a dusty blackberry and soft, ripe yet rustic core, having been blended with 12% Malbec and 3% Cabernet Franc. The full-bodied palate is structured and focused and it shows the vintage character well, with a broad, bold focus of black fruits, a rustic rigidity typical of Stellenbosch and elegant, soft garden herbs notes. The finish is structured and long. 4,773 bottles were made, bottled unfiltered and fermented using indigenous yeast. - Anthony Mueller"

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 90+ pts


"Medium dark red. Finely perfumed of red and black currants with hints of dried spices. Silky mouth feel with impressive intensity of balanced fruit, cedar hints and lively acidity. More finesse than power in this elegantly styled wine. Sourced from a single, exposed parcel on top of the ridge with low yields. 14.5% alc."

- International Wine Review (January 2019), 91 pts


 International Wine Review: 91
Keermont Topside Syrah 2015

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 flavours 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.

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 Topside Syrah comes from dry-farmed vines on decomposed granite and sandstone soils at 350-400 meters above sea level. It spent 20 months maturing in seasoned 500-liter French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration. It has a perfumed, Côte-Rôtie-like bouquet of detailed blackberry, briar and light iris aromas, and just a little chalkiness in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with finely chiseled tannin, a fine line of acidity and a linear, structured, gently grippy finish with hints of Provençal herbs on the sustained aftertaste. An outstanding Syrah from Keermont. - Neal Martin"

- Vinous (August 29th 2018), 94 pts



"Unblended, the 2015 Topside Syrah is fresh and dusty on the nose with soft, black fruit expression and a fine, black-spice edge. The medium to full-bodied palate has a dusty, varietally correct expression with a soft grip of tannins and a mineral edge with sandy, black pepper tones. It finishes long with lingering, dusty mineral notes. The Topside vineyard is situated on a hill opposite the Steepside vineyard. 2,541 bottles were made."

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue # 256, October 2019), 93 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 94 Wine Advocate: 93
Kershaw Chardonnay Deconstructed Groenland Shale CY548 2017

Kershaw Chardonnay Deconstructed Groenland Shale CY548 is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.

The inspiration for this Chardonnay 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 Chardonnay was selected from a sub-region of Elgin from a specific vineyard and an individual clone (CY548).

Tasting Notes:

Sourced from the foothills of the Groenland Mountain in Northern Elgin this clone has been taken from Corton Charlemagne cuttings. It produces wines that have aromatics oscillating between lemon blossom, white flowers, petrichor and struck stone. Full in body they exude concentration with white stone fruit yet reinforced with an austere texture and robustness that makes for excellent aging potential. The Bokkeveld Shales adds structure and concentration to the flavor.

Vineyards: 

Sourced from the foothills of the Groenland Mountain in Northern Elgin this clone has been taken from Corton Charlemagne cuttings.

Winemaking: 

Grapes were hand-picked in the early autumnal mornings, placed into small lug baskets and tipped directly into a press before being gently whole-bunch pressed up to a maximum of 0.6 bar or until a low juice recovery of 580 liters per ton was obtained. The juice gravity-flowed directly to barrel (no pumps were used at all) without settling. The unclarified juice had no enzymes or yeast added to it and therefore underwent spontaneous fermentation until dry, with malolactic discouraged. The wine rested in barrel for 4 months prior to judicious sulfuring and a further 7 months’ maturation in barrel before racking and bottling.

Barrel: Selection: A small number of artisanal coopers are selected from mostly Burgundy, with only French oak was chosen. Up to 40% of the oak is new with the remainder split into 2nd and 3rd fill barrels of predominantly 228 litres.

Look at pairing this with textured fish, straightforward chicken dishes, pan-fried or grilled pork dishes, soft-rind cheeses, cream or creamy dishes be it with pasta or the aforementioned fish, chicken or pork, to allow the complexity of the wine to shine through. If using mustard, preferably use Dijon mustard as it uses verjus (soured grape juice) and not vinegar. Also look to delicate herbs (tarragon, dill, basil, parsley) rather than hard stalked herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, etc). Avoid smoked meats or fish as well as highly spiced dishes as this can overwhelm the wine and clash with the oak. I would try oysters; Lobster grilled or boiled but not thermidor as it is too rich; turbot, dover sole, sea bass, yellowtail with a shellfish sauce; fish pie; roasted free-range chicken with tarragon; roast loin of pork with garlic and ginger; truffle risotto; pasta in a clam sauce; slice of brie de meaux.

Review:

"Perfume of flowers, minerals and citrus zest. The palate is dense and focused, almost chewy with an opulent mandarin mid palate and long, savory finish. Matured in 50% new oak that is seamlessly integrated with the wine."

- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 94 pts



 94 Points
Kershaw Chardonnay Deconstructed Lake District Bokkeveld Shale CY95 2017

Kershaw Chardonnay Deconstructed Lake District Bokkeveld Shale CY95 is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.

The inspiration for this Chardonnay 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 Chardonnay was selected from a sub-region of Elgin from a specific vineyard and an individual clone.

Tasting Notes: Sourced from a parcel in the Western part of Elgin the 95 clone is known for its excellent quality creating wines that are aromatic, fuller bodied and rich yet tightly structured, well–balanced with length of flavor, managing to show restraint and mouth-watering passivity with a great line through the palate and fruit veering towards white peach flesh and nectarine. On Bokkeveld Shales it brings amplified perfume on the nose and persistence and elegance to the palate.

Winemaking: 
Grapes were hand-picked in the early autumnal mornings, placed into small lug baskets and tipped directly into a press before being gently whole-bunch pressed up to a maximum of 0.6 bar or until a low juice recovery of 580 liters per ton was obtained. The juice gravity-flowed directly to barrel (no pumps were used at all) without settling. The unclarified juice had no enzymes or yeast added to it and therefore underwent spontaneous fermentation until dry, with malolactic discouraged. The wine rested in barrel for 4 months prior to judicious sulfuring and a further 7 months’ maturation in barrel before racking and bottling.

Review:

"Minerals and a hint of flint on the nose. The expressive minerality of this wine also shows on the palate with complementary light stone fruit notes. Aged in 50% new 228L oak aging for 11 months."

- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 95 pts



 95 Points
Kershaw Chardonnay Deconstructed Lake District Cartref CY96 2017

Kershaw Chardonnay Deconstructed Lake District Cartref CY96 is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.

Sourced from the western part of Elgin, known as the Lake District, this clone produces wines that are nervous, aromatic, elegant and sharp with slightly lower alcohol and finely balanced, the fruit profile being subtle with hints of citrus/orange peel and peach blossom and with time, some nutty elements. The Cartref soils, a mixture of decomposed granite, pebbles and quartz, adds delicacy and heightens the fruit intensity.

The inspiration for my Deconstructed Chardonnay stems from my belief that the Elgin region boasts credentials that make it world-class. To bolster these regional credentials, I have set out to prove that Elgin has both a signature grape, as well as specific ‘terroirs’ (meso-climates) that reflect intra-regional distinctions. To fully comprehend this, it is necessary to dig deeper into the DNA that make up our region. To elucidate this, I have decided to make these 3 Chardonnay wines, each selected from a specific vineyard and an individual clone. Importantly, this is an ongoing story that will unfold over the coming years.

Vintage notes:

Whilst 2017 experienced a cool winter to enable good vine dormancy, the rainfall was low and followed similar conditions felt in 2015 and 2016. Budbreak took place in ideal warm sunny conditions whilst flowering was a touch earlier than normal; strong blustery winds meant pollination took longer to complete. As a result, berry set was uneven leading to some smaller berries that despite a lower yield did have good concentration of flavours. Despite expecting an
early harvest an unusually cool December slowed down ripening whilst some January rain during veraison helped nourish the soils and more importantly, helped the vine focus on grape ripening rather than foliage & root growth. Harvest took place under blue skies in
mid-March. The net result of the drier year is that the grapes had decent natural acidity, achieved steady phenolic ripeness and plenty of intense fruit flavors.

Winemaking: 

Grapes were hand-picked in the early autumnal mornings, placed into small lug baskets and tipped directly into a press before being gently whole-bunch pressed up to a maximum of 0.6 bar or until a low juice recovery of 580 litres per ton was obtained. The juice gravity-flowed directly to barrel (no pumps were used at all) without settling. The unclarified juice had no enzymes or yeast added to it and therefore underwent spontaneous fermentation until dry, with malolactic discouraged. The wine rested in barrel for 4 months prior to judicious sulphuring and a further 7 months’ maturation in barrel before racking and bottling.

Review:

"A single clone (96) grown on a single parcel from a single vineyard of Cartref soils (decomposed granite and quartz). Roasted grain, wet stones, and lemon peel aromas. Precise and tightly coiled with an intense mineral character and yellow fruit and citrus zest flavors finishing with a smoky gunflint note. Matured in 50% new oak."

- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 93 pts




 International Wine Review: 93
Kershaw Chardonnay GPS Series Lower Dulvenhoks 2017

Kershaw Chardonnay GPS Series Lower Dulvenhoks is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
During the year, I have the opportunity to visit a number of areas outside of Elgin. Occasionally, I come across something so fascinating that it deserves a closer look.


In 2016, I discovered a small parcel of Chardonnay grapes growing on limestone soils – a rarity in the Western Cape. With limestone often touted as beneficial for Chardonnay grapes, it made sense to grasp this opportunity with both hands. The GPS Series is testament to these special places and celebrates them.


Restraint, minerality, freshness of fruit and a chiselled edge reflect limestone’s soil properties. This 2017 vintage reveals clean, bright aromas of lemon blossom, wet chalk and powdered stones. Penetrating intensity, animated acidity with a rich mid palate weight, this wine has purity of fruit (orange peel, yellow cling peaches and grapefruit peel) lemon cream biscuits and crème fraiche textures with a long finish.


Winemaking: 
Grapes were hand-picked in the early morning, placed into small lug baskets and tipped directly into a press before being gently whole-bunch pressed up to a maximum of 0.6 bar or until a low juice recovery of 590 litres per ton was
obtained. The juice gravity-flowed directly to barrel (no pumps were used at all) without settling. The unclarified juice had no enzymes or yeast added to it and therefore underwent spontaneous fermentation until dry, with malolactic discouraged. The wine rested in barrel for 4 months prior to judicious sulphuring and a further 7 months’ maturation in barrel before racking, blending and bottling.


Review:
"Delicate, precise nose with hints of lemon and flint. A finely sculpted wine that evokes oyster shells, savory sage. Mandarin pith and lemon zest notes persist on the extended finish. Made entirely from Dijon clone CY95. Part of the GPS Series, the vineyard lies east of Agulhas and 5 km from the sea on an escarpment of clay over limestone. Sees about 40% new 228L oak."
- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 93 pts




Kershaw Smugglers Boot Pinot Noir 2015

Kershaw Smugglers Boot Pinot Noir is made from 100% Pinot Noir made from French clones PN667, PN115 and PN113.

The name derives from the time of trade embargoes in South Africa when growers & winemakers smuggled grapevine material into the country by hiding the cuttings in Wellington boots. The Smuggler’s Boot range celebrates that ingenuity.

Attractive strawberry, savory and star anise spice linger on the nose. Juicy and sumptuous on the mid palate with breadth of flavor offset by a nimbleness of fresh acidity, friable tannins and sinuous mouthfeel, this Pinot unwraps to earthy, fennel, chocolate and a hint of incense to a long supple finish.

Handpicked grapes were first bunch sorted on a conveyor before the stems were removed and the destemmed berries sorted to remove jacks and substandard berries. After a 3-day maceration in 500kg open-topped fermenters, the uncrushed grapes began a spontaneous fermentation. A gentle pigeage program was charted and the grapes remained on skins for 10-16 days.
The free-run wine was racked to a combination of 50% French oak barrels (10% new) and 50% breathable plastic eggs with the remaining pomace basket-pressed. Malolactic then proceeded followed by a light sulphuring after which the wine was racked off Malolactic lees and returned to cleaned barrels for an 11-month maturation. No finings, simply racked and light filtration prior to bottling.

Richard Kershaw’s personal suggestions for dishes include charcuterie, its salt and fat being complemented by the delicate spicy notes and fruit; Pork loin with honey, pepper, and lemon-zest glaze; Carpaccio; duck cassoulet; ovenroasted monkfish with garlic mashed potatoes; seared tuna; wild mushroom risotto; a simple beet salad with some hazelnuts and ricotta cheese; a slice of Brie or Gorgonzola dolce.

Kershaw Syrah Deconstructed Groenland Bokkeveld Shale SH9c 2016

Kershaw Syrah Deconstructed Groenland Bokkeveld Shale SH9c 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 : SH9c

Sourced from a single parcel in the Northern part of Elgin the 9c clone when planted in cooler areas is known to produce wines that are well scented, delicately balanced and savory. They are medium in weight resonating elegance, finesse of tannin, and purity of fruit, the flavors revealing more white pepper, violet/lavender, Victoria plum and iodine. They tend to exude freshness and energy with lively acidity giving precision to the wine. On Bokkeveld Shales it brings amplified perfume, more structural integrity and concentration to the flavor.

Vineyards: Age of the vines is 10 years-old


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 sulfuring and 17-month maturation. No finings were necessary and the wine was simply racked and bottled unfiltered.

Review:

Vibrant, effusive aromas of blackberry with savory notes. Rich and ripe on the palate showing dense fruit flavors accented by lavender and cracked pepper. Aged 17 months in 500L French oak, 45% new."

- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 93 pts


 International Wine Review: 93
Kershaw Syrah Deconstructed Lake District Cartref SH22 2016

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.

Review:

"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



 International Wine Review: 93
Kershaw Syrah Elgin Clonal Selection 2016

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

Vintage notes:
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.

Review:


"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


 Wine Advocate: 93
Leeu Passant Dry Red 2015

 Leeu Passant Dry Red
36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc and 31% Cinsault

Review:

Western Cape (13.5%) No one could accuse this wine, released for the first time in 2015, of being unambitious, but it’s quite a début. Inspired by the Château Libertas wines of old, it’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Cinsaut, showing impressive, stony precision, notes of spice, dark tea and reduction, a hint of graphite and a taut, lingering finish. 2019-30 - Tim Atkins 94 Points

36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc, 31% Cinsault. Cinsault comes from the two oldest registered red wine vineyards: Wellington (117 years old) and Franschooek (91 years old), while the Cabernet Franc comes from high up in the Helderberg and the Cabernet Sauvignon from bush vines lower down the Helderberg. The new oak portion was fermented in upturned 500 litre barrels to achieve better integration. Floral, perfumed and beautifully aromatic. Very fine, a bit peppery and juicy, slightly grippy red cherry and raspberry fruit with some nice spiciness. Juicy, pure and fine with lovely precision. Jamie Goode 95 Points 


 95 Points
Lismore Age of Grace Viognier 2018

IMPORTER SALE!


This is 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.

Review:

"The 2018 The Age of Grace Viognier is sourced from Elgin and matured mainly in used barrels with some concrete eggs for 11 months. It has a well-defined bouquet of pressed yellow flowers and crushed stone scents that gain intensity with aeration. The fresh, vibrant palate is poised and harmonious, delivering a fine bead of acidity and a lick of salinity on the finish. Superb! - Neal Martin"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2019), 92 pts


 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92
Lismore Chardonnay 2017

Lismore Chardonnay made from 100 percent Chardonnay.

Intense citrus and soft fruit layered with honey and vanilla carried by a distinct minerality and crisp acidity with a lingering citrus finish.

Fermented and aged in 225-300 liter older French barrels with regular batonnage. 10 % Malolactic Fermentation. Residual Sugar: 2.41

Delightful with warm curries which lift the aromatics or a traditional pairing of smoked salmon highlighting the fresh acidity.


Review:


"The 2017 Chardonnay is matured on the lees for 11 months in 300-liter barrels. It is well defined and quite Burgundian on the nose – think fine Chassagne-Montrachet. The well-balanced palate is linear and focused, offering flavors of citrus lemon, orange pith and quince. The taut finish suggests that it will benefit from a couple of years in bottle, if you can resist its nascent charm. Superb. - Neal Martin" - Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2019), 93 pts

 

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93
Lismore Chardonnay Reserve 2017

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.


Review:

"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

 Wine Advocate: 94
Lismore Pinot Noir 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.

Review:

"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



 Wine Advocate: 92
Lismore Syrah 2016

Importer Sale

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:

"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

 95 Points
Lismore Syrah Reserve 2017

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.


Review:

"The 2017 Estate Reserve Syrah comes entirely from Greyton, 40% whole cluster and aged in 500-liter barrels with 40% new oak. It has a very refined, perfumed bouquet of red cherries, crushed strawberry, broom, iris and a touch of potpourri. The palate is very well balanced, offering fine tannin on the entry, good weight in the mouth and blackberry, blueberry, clove, star anise and light fennel notes toward the finish. There is very good length here, but it needs another year or two in bottle to fully coalesce. Great potential. - Neal Martin"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (August 2018), 93+ pts

Upon smelling the 2017 Estate Reserve Syrah, my first thought was "Wow, this reminds me of a young Côte-Rôtie." The nose of this wine has a glossy polish to it, with black fruit that expresses power and complexity while remaining pristine and elegant. After the impressive fruit aromas, the soft herbal and lavender tones flutter in, bringing with them soft oak tones and a nuance of spice rack. The palate has good mineral tension with the depth and breadth of expression only found in world-class Syrah. The finish is long with grippy tannins and begs me to take another sip. Samantha O'Keefe is clearly doing things right. The Lismore Estate wines are highly collectible and show amazing quality. - Anthony Mueller" - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 93 pts


 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93 Wine Advocate: 93
Lismore Syrah Reserve 2018

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.


Review:


"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


 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 97 97 Points
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