Friday, October 23, 2020

Tasting Keermont Single Vineyard Series wines

Something from the past happened this week, another reminder of normality; we were invited to a tasting of Keermont wines at their Cape Town venue in upper Kloof Street. The farm is nestled high up in a naturally-formed amphitheatre between the Helderberg and Stellenbosch mountain ranges, with spectacular views. Definitely worth a visit. During lock down they have concentrated on their export business and are now back in the South African trade, working hard and succeeding
Just six people from the trade attended, well spaced around the large table with winemaker/viticulturist Alex Starey
and Nicole Kilian who handles their marketing. We so appreciate the care that was taken

The Single Vineyard wines were what we were there to taste, but other bottles were open and we could also taste those

The line up of the first three wines. The 2018 Riverside Chenin Blanc, barrel fermented, is from very old vines planted in 1971 which give superb fruit but sadly the vines are diminishing with age. Richness on the nose with full golden fruit - ripe English gooseberry, melon & peach. There is some initial sweetness on the palate which has a honey texture but is crisp and elegant with lime, lemon and supporting wood. Long complex flavours and minerality on the end. They do not use new wood on the farm

The wines are very good indeed. The second wine was the North facing 2016 Steepside Syrah, which impressed us most. We have bought this before and now need to bring out some to taste. It is grown at 300m on the Helderberg. Black and red cherries, minerality, dark toast on the nose, then some raspberry and a hint of white pepper on the end. Soft and silky and beautiful on the palate, full of beautiful cherry and blueberry fruit, warmth from the 14.5 alcohol and dark oak on the end. A wine to buy and cherish but also enjoy now. The west facing 2016 Topside Syrah grown at 350m on the Stellenbosch mountains, shows how different terroire, so close to each other, can affect the wine. The two vineyards are on different facing slopes. Perfumed with hints of rhubarb and raspberry. On the palate soft, full of cherry fruit and a little grip from the wood tannins and some chalk minerality remains. Zingy acidity shows that this wine is built to last, it certainly gets the juices flowing and is a good wine with food

Cellar door prices
The full range of wines. The 2016 Pondockrug Cabernet Franc grown at 380 m has pine nuts and dark cherry and mulberry fruit, good refinement and perfumed by raspberry on the nose. Salty minerality, silky, a blockbuster on the palate with warmth, chalky tannins and lots of cherry and mulberry on the end

A view of the three topmost vineyards which reach 390 metres above sea level
Some of the grapes are grown on Stok by Paaltjie, which in France is called the Echalas method, also termed ‘staked vines’

These are the very old Chenin vines in the Riverside vineyard

Nicole Kilian pouring. We also tasted the Keermont Syrah which is savoury and spicy with almost salami umami notes, at first soft and fruity then the fruit and wood takes over. The Keermont Estate Reserve 2014 has pretty, perfumed dark fruit and follows through on the palate with dark wood and cherry fruit with dry tannins. And we finished with the very attractive Fleurfontein 2019 100% vine dried Sauvignon Blanc, honey sweet with spice and length on nose and palate. A good after dinner pleaser

No comments: