The Marimar Estate
Exporting a Legacy To California
Nestled in the rolling hills of western Sonoma County, the Russian River/Green Valley appellation is a perfect microclimate for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Only 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean and 50 miles north of San Francisco, the site is influenced by the sea's cooling breezes and drifting fog. That is why Marimar Torres selected this privileged location to "export" the Torres family legacy of fine wines to California.
A Catalan Farmhouse-Winery
Built in 1992 with a capacity of 15,000 cases, the winery sits on a hill surrounded by vines. The production wing is outfitted with carefully selected equipment, to allow the control essential to producing a wine based on minimal handling. Its three barrel rooms with independent temperature and humidity controls provide flexibility to experiment with various vinification techniques, in order to best express the fruit's character.
The Marimar Vineyard
The Don Miguel Vineyard: A Unique Site
Marimar came to live in California in 1975. After two years of searching, she acquired the land and began planting the vineyard in 1986. Today there are 30 acres planted with Chardonnay and 30 with Pinot Noir. The wines are made entirely from estate-grown grapes. Named in honor of the late patriarch of the family, the vineyard is unique in California because it is totally European in style. The vines are trained very close to the ground on an open vertical trellis, following the slope of an east-facing hillside; the rootstocks are phylloxera resistant; and the planting density is 2000 vines per acre, four times more than is traditional in California. Such high density promotes root competition and diminishes vigor, naturally reducing the output per vine.
Yields are low and labor is intensive, but the vines live longer and produce grapes with greater concentration of flavors, more refined and elegant aromas, and better balance. To contribute complexity, Marimar did extensive research to select several clones of each varietal: See, Rued and Spring Mountain for Chardonnay; and Cristina 88, Swan, Pommard, Lee, Dijon 115 and Dijon 667 for Pinot Noir. Each clone brings different attributes to the final blend, resulting in wines with deep layers of flavor
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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
"This 2013 Estate Reserve was previously known as just "Keermont" since the estate wanted to keep the wine before release. A lot of fruit was lost to wind during flowering, ergo there is a little more Cabernet in the blend. The wine spent 22 months maturing in French oak barrels (20% new) before being bottled by hand without filtration on December 22, 2014. It has a precise, detailed bouquet of blackberry, raspberry, cold stone and just a touch of iodine. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp acidity and quite strict tannin, grippy in the mouth, yet very elegant, presenting a lingering, almost Saint-Julien-like finish. Give this another year in bottle and you will have a very fine wine in your possession. - Neal Martin"
- Vinous (August 29th 2018), 92 pts
"This is Keermont’s flagship wine, the first wine made under the label in 2007. It sees 2 years in oak and is kept in bottle another 2 years before release. Richly aromatic with spice and fynbos/herbal notes. Fabulous, layered texture of rich, dense dark red fruit seamlessly integrated with toasted oak. A blend of 36% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Fanc, 10% Malbec, 6% Syrah and 4% Petit Verdot. 14.5% alc. Alex has been gradually increasing the percent of Cabernet Franc in this wine over time."
- International Wine Review (January 2019), 92 pts
Johann Michel Cornas Cuvee Mere Michel is made from 100 percent Syrah.
Cuvee Mère Michel was first introduced in 2016 and is not produced every year. This wine is a tribute to Johann Michel' wife, Emmanuelle, and a nod to the French song, La Mere Michel. This wines comes from Selection Massale (replanting new vineyards with cuttings from exceptional old vines from the same property) cuttings of Serine off the 1947 Yves Cuilleron vineyard at Chavanay. The vineyards are located in the lieu-dit "Les Cotes" at an altitude of 230 meters and benefiting from a southern sun exposure.
"This is a serious wine, it's powerful and full bodied but not excessive, very ripe but not overripe without relying on extraction. It’s fresh, deeply saline and mineral with elaborate, detailed aromatics. The fruit is intense, matching the oak without being swamped by it, underpinned by serrated, edgy tannins and a very long finish. Selection massale planted in 2011 on lieu-dit Les Côtes, south-facing at 230m altitude. No destemming, aged in new demi-muids for 16 months. Drinking Window 2026 - 2036."
- Decanter (October 2019), 96 pts