Thursday, November 15, 2018

Tasting Keermont Single Vineyard wines

A invitation last week to visit Keermont owner Mark Wraith's Cape Town offices in Kloof Street to taste the new release of the Single Vineyard Series. We used to sell these wines in our shop, so we know the quality they produce on the farm in the high Helderberg mountains
Mark Wraith welcomed us
All the Keermont wines have scored 4 or 4.5 stars in Platter this year. An impressive performance
Winemaker Alex Starey. who has been with Keermont since 2005, took us through the tasting.
We began with the 2017 Single Vineyard Chenin Blanc, grown on riverside vines that are 47 years old. It is a patchy vineyard that produces less every year. The furniture in the office had just been polished and we hope the polish notes do not dominate our impressions. The wine has golden fruit notes with vanilla and wax (?). Rich golden fruit: peaches, apricots and melon on dark toasted wood which hopefully will soften with time. It spends one year in 2nd and 3rd fill 500 litre oak barrels. The 2014 is a 5 star wine. Some of this wine is used in their Terrasse white blend
Next the 2015 Barrel selection Syrah called Topside which is the vineyard on the left. Dark cherry and wax on the nose with some spice and dark wood. There is tension on this wine with dark, sour sweet berry fruit, long flavours, minerality and tannins with bitter dark wood on the end. Alex told us they are trying not to get too much ripeness on anything. It spends 4 weeks on the stems and skins, and is then pressed before spending two years in 500 litre French oak barrels
The 2015 Steepside Syrah is from the right hand vineyard and is picked a bit riper. More cherry than cassis, some vanilla and spice; softer, sweeter fruit, more approachable. Warm alcohol with tight tannins and dark wood on the end. Both need laying down for a few years

Then the 2015 Pondok Rug Cabernet Franc, which is a classic. Savoury on the nose, then cherry, vanilla and herb notes. Soft, sweet and savoury fruit with green cassis leaves, cherry berry long flavours, lots of minerality and elegance with wood holding back in support. To explain the historic name - Rug (pronounced reugh) is Afrikaans for a ridge and Pondok, a shack or in this case, probably, a ruined shepherd’s hut. Before we left, we tasted the 2014 Syrah, which is elegant, soft, sweet and satisfying, showing how well these wines develop with a little time

No comments: