Friday, December 02, 2016

Keermont Single Vineyard Series Release

Bringing the mountain to Mohammed? No, wines to the wine trade
Keermont’s Vineyards are beautifully maintained, produce very good wines and are up, up, up high in Paradyskloof (Paradise Valley) with vineyards 250m to 400m above sea level. They realised that it is often difficult for the wine trade to get to them, so they came to town last week and brought their new releases with them. They held a small open tasting all day in their Kloof Street offices and we grasped this opportunity to taste these classy wines
They even interrupted their lunch to accommodate us. We began with the 2015 Riverside Chenin Blanc, with a lovely acid fruit balance and long flavours of loquats, lemons and peaches. 2014 had 4 1/2 stars in Platter
Alex Starey, who is the winemaker at Keermont, took us through the tasting
They have two Shiraz vineyards which face each other on opposite slopes of the mountain, where the soils are different, the climate is different and they use trellis on one side and stok by paaltjie (Sur Échalas, not much more than a bush or goblet vine with a pole - See more at: for the other. The Topside 2014 on sandstone rocks and screed on the warmer north-facing Helderberg slope has cherries and expensive wood with violets on the nose. Soft and silky on the palate with liquorice and salt beneath mulberries and cherries. The Steepside 2014 (stok by paaltjie, on the cooler west-facing Stellenbosch range) is on clay and has spice on the nose with chewy butter toffee, salt, dark berries, Indian spices and toast on the end. all these wines have between 5 and 10% new oak and only 2 or 3 barrels are made from the single vineyard wines
We enjoyed the convivial tasting with the owner Mark Wraith, in his offices
Then the Pondok Rug Cabernet Franc. Savoury as expected with umami and green notes with black olives. Also soft and silky red fruit with chalky tannins and with grip and Cherry, cassis sweet sour fruit. One to keep and watch
The flagship Keermont Estate Reserve 2012 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Syrah, made in good French oak. Cassis first on the nose, then smoke, violets and roses, very fragrant. Soft and full of fruit. The promise on the nose is fulfilled, it is avery satisfying and elegant blend, and the perfume remains on the palate. We also tasted the 2013 Keermont Syrah with green cassis leaves and soft liquorice, warm dark berry spicy fruit, a food wine
Wietske Rubow of Cybercellar joined the tasting
One we have always liked, the Terrace, a white blend of Chenin Blanc from a 43 year old un-irrigated vineyard called 'Riverside', with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. Full to bursting with lemon and peach, it’s a succulent mouthful of ripe summer grapes, a food wine, very refreshing to quaff or serve with food
And finally the Rosé which is caramel toffee apple on the red nose, both full and dry. It’s kept on the lees for 6 to 8 months and has richness. The dessert wine, Keermont Fleurfontein, is pure honey with limes. It is intensely sweet, 212 gm sugar per litre, with sour red cherry, dark ripe cassis
What a great tasting of such carefully made wines
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016

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