Friday, December 05, 2014

Keermont Single Vineyard Series Release

Another venture this week was up into the top of the beautiful Paradyskloof valley to visit this winery. Agriculture in the Upper Blaauwklippen Valley can be traced back to 1694. In 2003, the Wraith family moved to the Western Cape from Gauteng and bought two adjacent farms. These two farms are now farmed as one Estate known as Keermont Vineyards. We were warmly welcomed by Mark Wraith and his wife, Monica and their winemaker Alex Starey, who is in charge of the vineyards and of making the estate’s wines. Alex studied Viticulture and Oenology at Stellenbosch University and graduated in 2002. He has travelled and worked in wine regions including Maipo Valley in Chile, Penedès and Priorat in Spain, St-Emilion and Côte Rotie in France. You can read more about this interesting winery on
They are blessed with some very special and unique vineyard sites and the farm is bisected by the Blaauwklippen river, which is also the boundary between the Helderberg and the Stellenbosch Mountain Range. This means that some of the vineyards are on the warmer north-facing Helderberg slopes and others on the cooler west-facing Stellenbosch range. They took us up onto the mountains in 4 x4’s to see their vineyards and this was then followed by a tasting of their three Reserve wines and a good buffet lunch prepared by Chef Andrew Jordaan from Wild Peacock
Arrival in the tasting room, welcomed by Kyle Martin, who markets their wine through his company, Cabo Esperança Wines
The Single Vineyard Series of wines
Mark Wraith poured us all a glass of their Rosé, made from Shiraz
Finding out about Keermont and their wines
Fresh oysters for lunch
Then it was into the LandCruisers and up the mountainside to see the vineyards. This is a view of the “right bank” vineyards
First we drove up to the Steepside vineyard on the ‘left bank’ to see the Shiraz
They are changing these from trellis to the “Stok by Paaltjie (Sur Échalas or single pole viticulture), better for the vines with the height of the vineyard and the wind
A view of the other vineyards and the valley below
Some of the Chenin comes from extremely old vines down in the valley on sandy soil and goes into the Riverside wine
Mark Wraith's home has a wonderful view of the Paradyskloof
They also have a lovely view of Table Mountain and from the high vineyards they can see both oceans
Young vine tendrils
Some of the very high vineyards are old and terraced. Mountain grysbok love to feed on the grapes
False Bay and its coastline from the farm
Off to visit another vineyard
Lunch was waiting our return: oysters and smoked salmon blinis, with smoked ham and parmesan toasts
Salmon and avocado on crisp toast rounds
Ditto on Banting slices, with aubergine and tomato on small toasts
Another delicious selection
The Pork and mint meatballs were moist and delicious
They came with a sweet chilli dip
A chilled green avocado and watercress soup
A very good camembert, nice fresh bread, chicken liver pate, taramasalata and some other good cheeses
We tasted the 2013 Riverside Chenin (R250 cellar door price) and two of the Single Vineyard red wines, the 2012 Topside Syrah and the 2012 Steepside Syrah, Both sell for R350 at the cellar door. All were awarded 4½ stars in Platter
A serious tasting!
The three wines
The three bottles
Lots of discussion and debate
Two other wines were served with lunch: the 2010 Terrasse blend, mostly Chenin with some Chardonnay, Sauvignon and viognier and the 2007 flagship Keermont, a Bordeaux blend with a dash of Shiraz
Enjoying some lunch with the wines
And finally we tasted a bottle of their 2012 Fleurfontein, a honey sweet vine dried Sauvignon Blanc which went with the dessert Valrhona chocolate brownies and strawberries
Chef Andrew Jordaan of Wild Peacock
The barrel cellar
A well camouflaged skink basking in the hot sun
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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