Thursday, March 10, 2016

Open day at Keermont Vineyards, Stellenbosch

Keermont Open Day
This was a great chance to taste Keermont wines, some older vintages and some just being released. The farm is high up in the hills above Stellenbosch and they have vineyards on both sides of the valley between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountains, facing each other
Meeting in the foyer
Keermont's winemaker Alex Starey with Kyle Martin, who does their marketing, and Kyle’s wife Sjanel
How to appreciate a glass of their new rosé, made from Shiraz. Owner Mark Wraith with guests
The newly released Shiraz Sweetwater Rosé
Keermont white wines. We tasted the excellent 5 star Platter 2014 Riverside Chenin Blanc, made from old bush vines, the 2014 Terrasse white blend of Chenin, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and 5% Viognier which gives it s lovely peach apricot notes and the 2009 which has notes of melon. a lovely full juicy character with hints of wood
The very clean wine cellar. The white tanks and barrels in the foreground contain red wines fermenting on the skins. We were invited to help punch down. They are still harvesting
Winemaker Alex Starey doing some necessary punch down in the kuip next to their press
A view from the top
Fermenting wine in the kuipe
More guests arrived
The punch stick on the thick layer of grape skins, which rises to the top of the fermenting wine and needs to be punched down throughout the day so that the wine can get more colour and flavour from contact with the grapes
"Please can we see?" Alex Starey's daughters taking an interest
Owner Mark Wraith talking about their wines
Alex explaining about this harvest and the wines he is vinifying
Wines were dotted around the winery for us to taste along with a very good spread. This is their honey sweet Fleurfontein vine dried Sauvignon Blanc, a sweet dessert wine tasting of apricots and vanilla with a residual sugar level of 216 gm/l
We were lucky enough to be able to taste some older Shirazes as well as the current release. They are fruit driven with notes of spice and pepper, liquorice and chocolate
We also tasted the Keermont, their flagship Merlot driven Bordeaux blend. Firm chalky tannins, classic cherry cassis with some savoury notes from the Malbec. Hand selected and harvested the different varietals are all vinified separately and then barrel selected and blended. And two vintages of the Companion, which is made from the barrels that don't go into the Keermont, a classic Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cab Franc, Malbec. This wine needs time but has loads of future potential.
John Hartley talking about the wines
Time for some food. Good sourdough bread ..
... to accompany the table of charcuterie and cheese
Rich coppa ham
Melon, olives and a good selection of cheeses
Help yourself
and taste some wine with the food
Linda and John Hartley enjoying themselves
The recent award from Platter of 5 stars for the Keermont Riverside Chenin Blanc 2014
The powers behind the throne: Juanita Schultz, Linda Hartley, Farieda Scheepers
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus

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